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Online Community Toolkit

Last edited 1/06

Thinking about building or hosting an online community? Looking for specific tips, tools and ideas? Start here. The following is a collection of articles that may help inform your work. They are all covered by our Creative Commons license which makes the material available with limited restrictions. Check it out. Have something to contribute? Let us know!

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Nancy's Onfac Blog
CoP Foundations Workshop "Lurker" Project: a nice synthesis of the issues around people who read in online groups but don't post. Mike Ellis' Dissertation: A Semiotic, Holistic and Systems Approach to CoPs
Synchronous Scheduling Trips in Larger Distributed Groups (1/04)
Teleconference Call Facilitation Tips
Full Circle Associates' Online Interaction Tools Resource Sheet - a grid of online interaction tool elements and their potential application (January 2004)
Networks, Groups and Catalysts: The Sweet Spot for Forming Online Learning Communities (Aug 2002)
Case History: CGIAR's Gender & Diversity "Creating Connections Online" Report (Aug 2002)

Online Interaction and Building Community - General

  • Virtual Communities: What and Why?
  • Types of Online Community
  • How Some Folks Have Tried to Describe Community
  • Dictionary of Online Interaction Terms (Updated August 2002)
  • Tom Coleman Poem - some thoughts on connecting with words
  • Virtual Communities: Thinking About Purpose
  • Community Builders' Purpose Checklist
  • Community Application Tool
  • Conference and Topic Structures
  • Community Member Roles and Types
  • Die Community, ihre Mitglieder und Strukturen - German version
  • Networks, Groups and Catalysts: The Sweet Spot for Forming Online Learning Communities (November 2002)
  • Your Community of Customers - Online community for small business. (1999)
  • Conversations With Your Customers - A human voice behind business interactions. (1999)
  • Calculating Your Community Costs - Is it worth your while?
  • What is the Value of Participating in an Online Community? - anonymous
  • Healing Disrupted Networks
  • Jenny Preece's Site.
  • Scott Pecks Foundation for Community Encouragement had some wonderful general resources for community building, online and off. It appears to be just a place-marker now; a loss.
  • 12 Variables for Understanding Online Communities - by Andrea Baker and Bob Watson, 2003, Mindjack

    Tools and Technology for Online Interaction

  • The Tools of Online Connection
  • Online Interaction Tool Tour Full Circle Associates' Online Interaction Tools Resource Sheet - a grid of online interaction tool elements and their potential application (January 2003)
  • Thinking About Tools for Groups Across Time and Space (graphic)
  • Threaded Vs. Linear
  • Full Circle Associates: Online Community Resources - has a software section.

    Planning, Designing and Running Online Events

  • Designing Online Events
  • Online Events Assessment Tool
  • Case History: CGIAR's Gender & Diversity "Creating Connections Online" Report (Aug 2002)
  • LINK Evaluation Examples: 2002 and Net*Working 2004 Online Event Evaluation Report (nice to see a full event evaluation!)


  • Online Facilitation Course
  • Online Community Hosting Course
  • Chat & Live Event Hosting Course
  • Facilitating and Hosting a Virtual Community


  • Facilitating and Hosting a Virtual Community
  • Some Considerations for Facilitating Online Interaction
  • FaciliTips - Quick tips on online facilitation.
  • Online and Offline Facilitation: What is the Difference?
  • So You Want to be an Online Facilitator?
  • Facilitator Qualities - a "think sheet" about online and offline facilitator qualities.
  • Facilitator Self-Awareness
  • Online Facilitation: It's Not Just for Geeks Anymore - Presentation at the 2001 International Association of Facilitators Conference.
  • Online Facilitation Assessment Tool
  • Self-Assessment Resources
  • Staying "In-the-moment" in Asynchronous Online Interaction
  • Visual Facilitation: A Humorous Look at Online Life
  • Emoticons: Online Body Language - add a little context to your words. For Japanese emoticons see http://club.pep.ne.jp/~hiroette/en/facemarks/index.html
  • Confidentiality in Online Groups - Nancy White
  • Avoiding Conflict Online
  • Interventions: Behind the Scenes or Out in Front?- Nancy White
  • Culture and Ethics a chapter by Michel Labour, Charles Juwah, Nancy White and Sarah Tolley, part of the ebook, Online Tutoring E-Book, 2002
  • 5 Online Community Poison Pills - A few avoidable pitfalls.(1999)
  • Five Ways You Can Prevent Online Community Flames- Sue Boettcher. (1999)
  • The Power of Passion
  • But I'm Not a Writer!
  • An Introduction to Chat
  • Cases and Hosts on Hosting - a collection of interviews and cases from the field.
  • Faciliplay: - Play as an Online Facilitation Technique
  • Some Thoughts on E-Coaching
  • Online Facilitation From a Distance Education Perspective - Moderating tricks from the distance education mavens!
  • You Gotta Have Heart - The Human Touch in Online Community - Nancy White.
  • Holding Questions - a "think sheet" on using questions in online group work.
  • Creating Summaries - Nancy White
  • An Introduction to Online Participation Techniques - by Nancy White draft
  • OnlineFacilitation list archive
  • Storm King's resources on The Psychology of Virtual Communities.
  • Moderator's Net, a UK based community of practice for online moderators.
  • Thataway a site for dialog and deliberation resources and news.
  • Conflict avoidance resources
  • More Online Facilitation and related Books

    Case Studies

  • Case History: Online communities in the UK National Health Service - Humberto Alejandro Gumeta Chávez (January 2003)
  • Evolution of an On-line Education Community of Practice - a case study about the TappedIn online educator's community by Mark S. Schlager, Judith Fusco, Patricia Schank, SRI International (external link)
  • Case Study: CGIAR's Gender & Diversity "Creating Connections Online" Report
  • Changing Lenses: Online Interaction in Central Asia
  • Project Harmony Domestic Violence Online Conference, March 2002
  • Case Study: Purple Moon
  • Case Study: Virtual Community as Empowerment
  • Case Study: the IBM/Electric Minds 'Kasparov v. Deep Blue Chess Match'
  • Case Study: Nancy Rhine and Women's Wire
  • Case Study: A Community of Purpose - John Aravosis
  • Case Study: An Insider's View of an Online Community on a Shoestring - Sue Boettcher on Women2women.com
  • Using Content to Support Your Community
  • Retaining Members
  • Sample Online Community Guidelines, Rules and Member Agreements (updated Jan 2003)
  • Personal Musings on Online Community Governance
  • It Ain't Easy Being Green: Online Archetypes- by Nancy White Needs updating...
  • Cluetrain Local- by Nancy White draft

    Communities of Practice Links - since more an more CoPs are "distributed" and utilize online interaction strategies, we've added this section to the Toolkit. These are mostly links to external resources. Look for some Full Circle resources on CoPs later in 2003!

  • CP Square, a CoP on CoPs!
  • CoPs in the Netherlands (and beyond) - a page of resources, definitions, books, research, and links. See also http://virtuelegemeenschappen.pagina.nl/.
  • Knowledge Networks: Innovation through Communities of Practice Book to be released Jan 04
  • Chris Kimball's excellent set of links.
  • Open Directory list of CoP links
  • John Smith's Techniques for Supporting CoPs and his larger l ink list
  • John Gotze's Gotzelink site
  • IBM Watson Research Lab list of key references plus http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/sj/404/gonglref.html
  • http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/knowledge-garden/cop/knowing.shtml
  • Bronwyn Stuckey's papers and links
  • Definitions Galore http://www.providersedge.com/kma/cop.htm, http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/knowledge-garden/cop/definitions.shtml

    Storytelling Links - Coming Soon

    Small Business and Online Community - Articles from WorkZ

  • Community or Ghost Town?- H Duggan. Making community vibrant and alive.
  • Attracting and Retaining Members- H Duggan. Pay attention to your prime participants!
  • Set the Stage for Your Community- Heather Duggan
  • The Missing Link to Your Community- Heather Duggan
  • Find the Right Community Host - H Duggan. When the action gets so hot, get help.
  • Getting Your Members to Interact- Sue Boettcher.
  • Getting Together in Virtual Space- Sue Boettcher.
  • Working in Internet Space- Sue Boettcher.
  • Picking Up the Threads- Sue Boettcher.
  • Hooking Up Your Chats- Sue Boettcher.
  • The Two Community Hosting Tools You Need- Sue Boettcher.
  • Using Communities as a Marketing Tool- Sue Boettcher.

    More, More, MORE!

  • Full Circle Associates: Online Community Resources - Full listing
  • Full Circle Associates BookShelf - recommended books related to online community, online facilitation, communities of practice and other good stuff!

    Contact us
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    4616 25th Avenue NE, PMB #126 - Seattle, WA 98105
    (206) 517-4754 - Email Nancy
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