Credit unions and online community

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There's a great article by Kevin Hogan in the latest issue of Credit Union Management, all about how credit unions are using online communities like blogs to engage members and the public. It's required reading for folks in that industry, but it's also a great general-purpose organizational blogging primer.

The article looks at the ground-breaking work done by credit unions like Verity in Washington State (whose employees blog at Who Are V) and agencies like our friends at Trabian (home of the wonderful Open Source CU blog) – along with plenty of sage advice from Trabian's Trey Reeme.

You'll also find some of my thoughts on finding the right partners to work with, why credit unions are a natural fit with the Web 2.0 world, and how proud we are of Vancity's project. (The article calls it "a smashing success." Who am I to disagree?)

And as if that isn't enough, there are two bonus web articles: one on ideas for blog posts and another on how to dip your toes into the waters of RSS and blogs.

Check 'em out!


Trey Reeme says

March 22, 2007 - 1:21pm
Rob, You're very quotable yourself! Don't know if you've seen it yet but I've been following the Callahan thread very closely, where William is adding a ton to the conversation about Change Everything. CE is still IMHO right up there with and Wesabe, Zopa, Kiva, and Prosper as a leading example of social media being used in consumer finance or by a financial institution.

Rob Cottingham says

March 22, 2007 - 9:45pm

We're mighty proud of CE too, but technology and good participation design can only take you so far. You need a client who embraces the social web, and you need a good community animator... and has both. Vancity (especially William!) has jumped avidly into this space, and animator Kate Dugas is the site's real killer app.

Thanks for pointing me to that thread on; William is indeed doing great stuff there. He's confronting the objection we hear so often from people: "What if they say bad things about us?" Our answer is that they won't be saying anything they aren't saying already. The difference is, you'll know about it... you'll be able to engage... and so will the people who like your organization. Bring those conversations out into the open, and you can be an active participant.

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