March 19, 2007


  • Agree! Websites help level the playing field and there is a lot of untapped potential for reaching memberships and creating bonds through a well thought and member-focused website.
  • I agree Scott. We''ve been running since July 2006, we have 1,000 registered users and over 2,000 user-generated comments and posts and have not had to remove a single one. If what you are doing is honest and genuine, there is little to fear. Having said that, we did invest in a community moderator to help grow the community, so there has to be some investment into human resources to make a community work, and not everyone can afford that expense.
    William Azaroff
  • A good point about people using the platform to complain about the CU. The issue you raise is a common concern among organizations that consider participating in social web 2.0 platforms. eg. "Will the community use this against me?"
    I would argue that the opposite might be true in practice and that organizations will generally be praised by the participants for the vision and support of the community channel. Also, in a truly active online community this kind of backlash tends to be the exception and not the rule. When it does occur self-policing of discussion tends to win out. Still, credit unions may be wise to maintain the right to remove commentary that is defamatory or rude in nature.
    Keep in mind that if the platform is about the community, and not about the credit union, I think the focus of the vast majority of conversations & posts will not be about the credit union. The bigger challenge really is to connect with an audience to make the platform even relevant (before worrying about what happens after success). It will be interesting to hear from Vancity Credit Union''s experience with since I''m sure they have experience and thougths in this area. CU Blogs would also face the same potential challenge.
    So, another question might be: Does the potential downside outweigh the potential opportunity?
    Scott Patterson
  • This is all very true but the reality is that smaller credit unions don''t have the resources to manage the ramifications of web 2.0 social web applications. While opening up the website to allow member and non-members to communicate sounds like an admirable thing to do it presents a major challenge for the credit union becuase they would have to assign their already stretched thin resources to monitoring the activity on these platforms. People love to complain and what these applications would turn into is a place to bash the cu. This could hurt the cu''s brand more than help.
    CU Webmaster