Building Engagement within a Group

After creating a group, you may wonder how you can increase the activity level of your group members. Groups are an easy way for people to exchange ideas, collaborate on projects, and post notifications. If you want your group to have greater visibility and activity, there are a number of things you can do to encourage livelier member engagement.

1. Change your group’s default avatar to something relevant and recognizable. To do this, scroll down to Manage in the left sidebar on the group’s page, click Photo, and upload a suitable image.

2. Promote your group in other channels. That could mean publicizing your group in an electronic discussion list, encouraging members to invite other people to join, or posting information about your group on blogs, Web sites, social networks, and bulletins.

3. Announce the group in other areas of MLA Commons. For example, if you create a new group on the writing of David Foster Wallace, you might want to announce that group in the LLC 20th- and 21st-Century American forum. If the topic is relevant to a number of groups, you might cross-post the announcement in more than one group.

4. Start a new topic of conversation in the group’s discussion page and invite members to respond. Creating a discussion topic is a useful way to initiate conversation, whether you’re sharing an article, posting news, or asking a question.

5. Add more features to your group by creating a blog or site. Your group’s site can be a helpful platform for circulating information, promoting your scholarly endeavors, and posting longer reflections or research related to your group’s focus. A site is also a great way to extend the reach of your group, providing it with a public face beyond the MLA. Read more about creating a group site here.

Please let us know if you have any other ideas to increase group engagement. We look forward to seeing the innovative ways that members use and promote groups. Write to us at commons[at]