Involved, Engaged, EnchantedFor the last year, my colleague Gretchen and I have been writing a workbook together about how to design and create successful online communities. We are currently tackling the metrics section… wrestling with data and researching the best ways to define and measure “success”.

Gretchen started to work with different visual models of the data using various spreadsheets, a “hierarchy of needs” table, triangles, diamonds, bullseyes…

On the Friday evening before the Christmas holiday, she sent me an email to let me know that she added a column to our spreadsheet called “basic human needs”. When I got the email, I was on my way out of town with my boyfriend, Florian (who happened to be reading Guy Kawasaki’s book, Enchantment). Gretchen was worried that the basic human needs column would be too “cheesy”. I thought it was genius! I enthusiastically told Florian about the human element that Gretchen had just added. After some thought, he said that he thought our model was still too complicated. And that maybe it could be whittled down to 3 simple phases: involved, engaged, and enchanted. Fireworks went off in my head!

When members show up in the community, they are involved.

When members do something in the community, they are engaged.

And when members recommend the community, they are enchanted!

We are essentially using Guy Kawasaki’s definition of enchantment because it best matches the sentiment we are trying to convey:

I define enchantment as the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization, or idea. The outcome of enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial.

And now the question becomes… how do you measure involved, engaged, and enchanted? In our research, the states of being involved and engaged are relatively easy to define and measure (I will be writing about this in future posts).  However, enchanted is a special state… and we’re still wrestling with finding a quantitative way of defining this. Is there a way to rate/measure positivity, trust, enthusiasm, liveliness, and intimacy? We think there is! And we are plowing our way through the various resources and the data to bring you a way to visualize enchantment in your communities. Stay tuned!