The power of Online Community: Best practices – Part 1

large__6898047487I will now show you three success examples of commercial and non-commercial brand communities. I have observed these communities: I analysed their content and looked at their underlying community concept. Of course, there are many other examples of successful communities. I chose these specific ones because they all have some interesting elements that I think non-profits can learn a lot from.

Best practice 1: Dell’s Ideastorm community (commercial)


In 2007, Dell introduced ‘Ideastorm’ with the statement that it was the place “Where your ideas reign”. They started the community to stimulate their consumers to co-create and post ideas about new innovations. Using the community, members can submit, vote, and comment on ideas.  In its 5-year-lifetime, the community has received nearly 18,000 ideas and suggestions. Dell has made around 500 refinements based on them. “We are at our best when we are hearing directly from our customers. We listen, learn, and then improve and innovate based on what our customers want,” says Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Inc. (Rock). Just recently, Dell has released a significantly updated version of its ground breaking Ideastorm:

Best practice 2: OnePercentClub community (non-commercial)

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.42.21 PM is a very vibrant and active online community initiated by the 1%CLUB Foundation.  1%CLUB is the platform that connects smart development projects with people, money and knowledge around the world. According to Anna Chojnacka, the 1%CLUB is the “online market place for small-scale development projects, where individuals and businesses can directly offer 1% of their time, knowledge and income to a project of their choice. At the 1%CLUB you can decide by yourself to which project you want to give 1% of your time, knowledge or money. The 1% directly goes to the project you have chosen. Every project has its own page with information about it, a weblog, photos and videos, so that you can keep exact track of what is happening with your 1%“. This concept is also introduced in the Netherlands:, with success as well. Currently, the community has 10.740 members, 139 projects going on, 279 projects realized in 65 countries and 667.293 euro is donated:

Best practice 3: LEGO’s Click community (commercial)

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.44.46 PM

In 2010, LEGO launched the LEGO CLICK community that “brings together innovators, designers, artists and creative thinkers to develop new ideas related to toys. Unlike other idea communities, LEGO CLICK does not allow users to rank and rate the ideas. It merely allows you to suggest your idea or to share ideas that you see and like or are interested in. Though, what makes this site particularly interesting is its use of Twitter, Facebook and Flickr as a way of generating content for the site and promoting participation. Users can contribute their ideas by tweeting with the hash tag #legoclick. They can contribute images by tagging their Flickr contributions with the same tag. Furthermore, they can suggest ideas by video by tagging on YouTube in the same manner. This is an interesting use of social networks to drive content to a community” (Matt Rhodes). LEGO also launched a new LEGO-social network designed especially for “children (with a high level of safety and parental controls). Members can create their own personal pages, win rewards, meet other LEGO fans and battle them in game modules, and watch LEGO TV” (Mc Dermott):

Are you curious for more interesting best practices? Read part 2!

Until next time,

Anne-Sophie Gaspersz

Photo credit: 1upLego via photopin cc

Photography: 1upLego

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