Jumpstart Your Online Learning Community With One of 25 Fun Ideas You Can Use Today

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    Everyone is busy. We all have the best intentions. Sometimes the problem is just remembering to go there. Here are some creative ideas to stay top of mind and promote your Bloomfire community.

    1. Helium balloons (version 2)

    Individually number a bunch of helium balloons and let them loose in the office. Make sure everyone knows that each number corresponds to a secret prize. Every time a community member posts something, they get to pop a balloon via ninja star. Or via pull-the-balloon-down- and-pop-with-sharp-pencil. Corresponding prize gets awarded.

    2. Restroom advertising

    It’s the perfect time to plant a message. People are away from their job and have a minute to think about what they might contribute.

    3. Lipstick on the mirror

    Write, “What can you contribute?” in lipstick on restroom mirrors (note – ask your friendly facilities person first…)

    4. Whiteboard

    Write a reminder message across the bottom of a whiteboard. No one writes on that space anyway unless they’re sitting down.

    5. Stickers

    Have some cool or funny stickers printed that people would want to stick up in their office. We’ve handed out hundreds of “Learn or Die” tattoos at conferences. You can take the phrase—we don’t mind.

    6. Give out pet plants

    Most people won’t want their pet plant to die, so they’ll usually place it in a sunny spot. In offices where windows are rare, sunny spots are usually communal spaces. Attach a small tag to each plant that serves as a reminder for the learning community. Not only will the owner be reminded she waters her plant, but those walking by the communal area will notice the tag too. Maybe your tag could say this: “I need water just like the learning community needs your knowledge. After you’re done feeding me, feed your peers.”

    7. Table tents in the cafeteria

    Another place that people meet daily where they have a moment to think about what they might be able to contribute.

    8. Wall posters

    “We need you. You know something that someone else doesn’t.” To get more attention, post them on the corner of a wall, being sure that it sticks out into the hallway like a flag.

    9. Broadcast activity on internal sites

    Using Bloomfire’s API, you can publish the top learners, top posts, or recent posts on the learning community. Embed these links on a public site that everyone sees multiple times a day.

    10. Dangle a large, purple, polka-dotted inflatable dinosaur

    It doesn’t really matter what it says as long as people know it is to remind them of the learning community.

    11. Origami

    Fold origami with messages written upon it and leave in places around the workplace for people to discover. Or if you’re an origami genius, fold some purple polka-dotted dinosaurs and leave them around.

    12. Paper a bathroom stall

    Let people advertise their latest post via graffiti. Be sure to set the tone for graffiti by writing some of your own ads first.

    13. Give employees children’s t-shirts

    Every time their child wears that shirt (probably every day) they will be reminded of your initiative. Maybe the shirt features a purple polka-dotted dinosaur.

    14. Hold a picnic in the middle of the lobby

    Invite all of the top contributors. Have one every month until community members start to post regularly.

    15. Magnets

    Whether on overhead cabinets or refrigerators, these little puppies get their message across several times a day.

    16. Calendars

    If you use calendars to establish a weekly/monthly topic, you can encourage focused conversations that may manufacture a landslide of interest in that topic.

    17. Water bottles

    They sit right next to most knowledge workers all day and are handled multiple times daily. Seems like a good place for a reminder.

    18. Water cooler

    They’ve got to fill up their water bottles somewhere. Another great place to stick a reminder.

    19. Sign over the door

    “Got Knowledge?” Might be tacky, and that’s why it’ll be noticed.

    20. Email signatures

    Include a reminder about the learning community in your email signature. Even better, have your champions place the reminder on their email signatures.

    21. Follow me mugs/t-shirts/stickers

    Give them marketing materials to market themselves as a contributor and amass social capital.

    22. Handprint mural

    Create a mural of cutout paper handprints with the names of each contributor to the learning community. Don’t start with a blank wall—make sure you get your champions’ handprints up first. When people see that others are doing it, they’ll also want to see their name on the wall.

    23. Stickers galore

    Place a sticker anywhere people put their eyeballs. In magazines in the lobby. On machines. On cubes. On toilet paper.

    24. Spoof posters

    You know those motivational posters that say “DETERMINATION” and feature an epic photograph of a bear catching salmon? Create a spoof of them that focuses people on the need for a learning community. For instance “STAGNATION” or “HOARDING.”

    25. Dance steps

    Have you ever seen those diagrams explaining complex dance routines? You know, the ones with sweeping dotted lines, curving arrows, and a smattering of shoeprints? With only a few sheets of construction paper and some tape, you can create your own in the lunchroom or some other public space. Add a witty note about how dancing is an analogy for collaboration and learning communities. Your employees will be reminded every time they see those dance steps.

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