Every single one of us has experienced the anxiety of fitting in. From as young as the first day of school, to a new job. Whether it is momentary, or something long-lasting, everyone has experienced that heart-racing, sweat-drenching moment where your mind is plagued by ‘what ifs’ and every possible scenario that could go wrong.
To build a thriving and inviting society, inclusivity, and diversity are essential. Inclusivity refers to everyone everywhere in history, experiences, or identities, feeling appreciated, respected, and supported. Contrarily, diversity refers to a broad range of individual differences, including those related to culture, language, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. We can create a more robust and vibrant society that is better able to address complicated issues, encourage innovation, and advance equality by embracing inclusivity and variety.
It is the same for online communities, new members may feel apprehension or fear and may not know what to expect. It is the job of community leaders and managers to foster inclusivity and diversity in online communities so that it makes it easier for new community members to assimilate better into your community.
But establishing inclusivity and diversity calls for persistent effort and dedication. Just welcoming diverse people into a room is insufficient; you must also foster an atmosphere that values and appreciates their individual opinions and experiences. To create a greater understanding and appreciation of many cultures and identities, we must actively work to combat bias and discrimination and offer tools and information. Creating safe spaces where people can speak freely and without fear of criticism as well as actively seeking out and listening to different views in decision-making processes are examples of how to do this.
Given below are a few tips and tricks to make sure your community members assimilate better into your community.
The lack of representation from groups other than the dominant culture or voice may be another factor in many diverse societies. This requires that you exercise caution when writing postings so that they are not merely tailored to one social group's particular viewpoints on current events but instead include several opinions from a variety of backgrounds in your blog entries and site updates. For example, if someone writes an article about Martin Luther King Jr., make it known in the post who he was and why he means so much or vice versa with other themes like LGBT rights or Black Lives Matter.
Set the statements and tone of inclusivity and diversity as a key statement which will be the first thing your members see. Here are some salient points to remember while crafting your statement:
You have to make an effort to build a varied community. This includes including varied representation at all levels of your online community and making a conscious effort to write about issues that are important to all social groups and feature different opinions. Giving your users the ability to upload content and have their opinions heard by other members of the online community may also be a part of this. A truly diverse online community requires participation from individuals from many cultures and backgrounds.
Hence, encourage people to present their best, truest selves in your online community by doing the following actions:
Make sure your moderators represent a diverse range of viewpoints, including those related to politics, religion, socioeconomic class, etc., so you may always view fresh ideas through the eyes of other people. This will contribute to the development of a more diverse online community where everyone, regardless of how significant their viewpoint may be to them, feels heard. Ensure that community moderators support all online community members in speaking out on debates without fear of retaliation, regardless of their ethnicity, culture, gender, etc. Being as open and inviting of online communities as possible is the ultimate goal.
Making it a practise to pay attention to our members is one of the best things any of us can do to guarantee that our online communities remain a safe area.
The ability to receive real-time feedback from association and NGO executives is a big advantage of an online community. You may utilise your community to promote a brief survey that determines how comfortable your members are with in-person events and to start an ongoing discussion thread where individuals can give the company consistent feedback.
You can respond to what really makes all of your members feel heard and visible if you provide a space that amplifies the voices of your members.
Getting community members to organically start or take part in engaging conversations is an elaborate process. Vibrant communities aren't built in a day.