Major League Soccer Clubs Trail Europe’s Heavyweights in Value

Source: Statista

Over the past few years, soccer has enjoyed an increasing amount of success in the United States. The arrival of successful foreign players including David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Frank Lampard, Kaka, Pirlo David Villa has helped soccer boost its profile in the country.

Average MLS attendance reached 21,546 in 2015(1) and there are plans to expand the league with the addition of new teams.

Despite the league’s recent success, however, MLS clubs still trail Europe’s heavyweights in value. The Seattle Sounders is America’s top club, valued at $175 million. By contrast, Europe’s (and indeed the world’s) wealthiest club, Real Madrid, is valued at $3.3 billion.

LA Galaxy is worth $170 million. By contrast, the Englishman’s former club, Manchester United is valued at over $3.65 billion.

Infographic: Major League Soccer Clubs Trail Europe’s Heavyweights in Value | Statista

1. SoccerStadiumDigest.com

How Connecting People Builds Your Community

Building community has always been one of the hot topics in social media. In the first post in this series we touched on some of the challenges of establishing a community with members spread so far and wide.

Today we continue the series with our second installment of Community Building for Everyone: The Connector.

What is a “Connector”?
It isn’t so much a what as it is a who. In social networking the value of a network is only as good as those involved in it. Even more valuable are those in the touch-point positions of interconnected networks, or communities.

There are many trusted connectors out there, yet only a limited space to share them here. These are the people people that are consistently making people connections. They recognize when a relationship would benefit two entities and thereby deserve introductions. What all there people have in common is they listen, read, understand and have the desire to be a connector for no other reason than how it will benefit others.

The connector has determined that those individuals “SHOULD” know each other. The recognition of the potential from the introduction is the catalyst for the choice of making it happen. As a connector there is a “high” in seeing amazing things evolve from a simple introduction. The view of the connector is that part of the value of a strong networked community is the ability to make individual introductions to benefit others, their interests and causes they share.

Why Make an Introduction?
From childhood we are taught that we should introduce people to one another, it is what is done in polite society. But when in social media, introductions carry a different weight. They are considered an endorsement of one trusted individual to another. When a connector introduces two people there is a reason behind it, and a presumed “need” for these individuals to know each other. Social networks such as LinkedIn have achieved most of their value by relational introductions, meaning a common connection is all that is necessary to recommend a connection. An automated connection suggestion doesn’t hold much value to a person other than helping amass a quantity of contacts.

Quailty Over Quantity, Always.
In a recent conversation with Follr founder Steve Fells, the topic of introductions came up. Steve made an excellent point regarding the reasoning behind making an introduction, or lack of reasoning. The point he made was just because he and I may have a mutual friend, does not mean that there will be a benefit to each of those people in being introduced. That often overlooked point is one that makes a trusted “Connector” of great value in today’s confusing network of online communities.

But why is that connection considered quality? Because the connector has thoughtfully considered a number of factors before initiating an introduction.

How We Determine Who To Introduce
If we analyzed our individual reasons for making an introduction between two entities (be it people or groups) we know there is far more thought behind that choice of action than simply the common familiarity. “I know them both, therefore they should know each other” is not a truth.

When a human being makes a choice to be a catalyst for a connect they are weighing multiple points of common interest or potential serendipity in that introduction. Some of the considerations that instinctively go into these choices are:

  • How do these two individuals benefit from knowing each other?
  • What are those commonalities, why are they of value to the other.
  • How may these individuals both gain from the introduction.

When we consider these factors prior to making an introduction it also helps to formulate a proper introduction. You are then able to cite specific reasons for the introduction, mention potential mutual benefit, and leave them with a topic to continue a conversation with.

The ability to connect people is also a fundamental skill in community building. Just as you would connect two people, you would also connect a single person with a community. Being able to offer the valid and convincing “Why” when proposing a connection is essential to establishing a solid foundation.

Being a connector online means that you are seeking to benefit others, without any focus on personal gain or advantage. There is no value to the connector other than the pure enjoyment of seeing a serendipitous moment happen.

Recommending a connection for a community that you passionate has value, as you are inviting an individual who you feel holds the potential to be of high value to the community, or who will get value from the community.

Therefore one of highest compliments an individual can receive is an introduction via a connector. That connector has considered the factors involved in making a truly valuable introduction and therefore a lasting connection.

Who are some of your favorite connectors? We would love to know who you rely upon when it comes to connections, introductions and word of mouth recommendations.

3 Key Ingredients to Build a Vibrant Community

Building a vibrant community takes a lot of great ingredients to make it happen. To see it grow, flourish and thrive is the result of many single initiatives.

For today, let’s review three of those recommended ingredients to build an amazing community.

If you consult those who have grown successful communities online they will give you many top ideas for building and engaging. Sharing the recommended elements for success in developing any community, no matter the focus, is our goal here at Follr Communities. To help our Community succeed and thrive.

Community Connections

It’s impossible to cover all of these recommended ingredients in a single post, over time we will touch on a few per post to reinforce some of the basics, often forgotten and far less glamorous ingredients to successful community building.

Time. It takes time, lots of time.
Nothing successful has ever appeared overnight, it only appears that it has to those of us on the outside. I have watched some of the top people in the social media spaces, many my friends and peers for many years, grow from new users fumbling about to Forbes top social media types, national media stars and authors in high demand to share their wisdom.

This takes many years and a large portion of that effort was the time dedicated and focused on community building. The time ingredient feeds into the second of today’s suggested ingredients.

Effort. Nothing worth doing is done without effort.
I have used the analogy before, a community is like a seed, if you don’t consistently nurture it, water it, feed it, prune it, and otherwise monitor it’s growth, you will not ever see lavish leaves or bloom of flowers.

The effort can’t be in one huge sweeping gesture, it must be dispersed over time.

Consistency is the final ingredient for today’s three.
Do it regularly, be predictable and dependable. Your community will come to rely upon this and then the habit of regularly returning to engage with the other members will be established.

Follr Communities are the foundation for a vibrant community

Consistent effort over time (see how they tie together?) will lead to the result – a solid, engaged, dedicated and vibrant community. Making the community a priority and scheduling the time to be there, engage and nurture it is essential in the early stages. As the community begins to take shape and grow into it’s own self-sufficient organism, you will be able to pull back a bit, watching the natural leaders rise and help guide the evolution.

You will then have the opportunity to admire this vibrant and lively community, to reflect on the process, and when you are ready, set out to do it once again.

How Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri’s Salary Measures Up

Source: Statista

Claudio Ranieri’s feat in leading Leicester to the Premier League title was remarkable but so too is his salary by football standards. One of Statista’s recent infographics featured in the indy100 shows that Ranieri was paid £1.5 million this season, roughly the same amount as Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. Ranieri has reportedly received a £1.7 million bonus for winning the league and is due a new deal worth £3 million next year. However, he is still paid far less than Arsene Wenger or Louis van Gaal.

This chart shows Claudio Ranieri’s salary compared to other Premier League managers at the start of the 2015/2016 season.

Infographic: How Claudio Ranieri's salary measures up | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Trolls Happen – A Primer on the Care and Feeding of Community Trolls

So you want to create your own social community. That’s awesome and admirable, and exactly why we are here, to help you do that. It’s a lot of fun to encourage people to come together and share great ideas.

Unfortunately, the sad truth of social media and most online spaces, is that eventually, the trolls crawl out from under the bridge. We aren’t referring to the trolls from fairy tales, but in this case trolls are people behaving badly.

The term Troll came into use because of the tendency of these sorts of people to lay in wait, as though under the bridge waiting for a Billy Goat to approach. They fly below the radar, and may be long standing members of a community. They may be there to Troll, or the impulse to Troll overtakes them after being a positive contributing member of a community.

Trolls are driven by a desire to create chaos, stir the pot in a negative way and instigate as much turmoil as possible. If you want to build a successful community you need to have a primer on “The Care and Feeding of Trolls” – the first rule, you never feed a Troll.

In this video, Matt from Volusion gives you 4 Tips for handling a Troll. Pay attention, we all need these tips at some point.

If your community develops a problem with Trolls that you are unable to fully eradicate yourself, please contact us. We’re here to help you grow!

Happy Troll Hunting!

Follr Featured in “Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies” Book

Did you know that Follr is highlighted in the book “Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies” written by Joshua Waldman?

Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies

In the section “Casting a Wide Net with [] Online Resumes – Rethinking the Traditional Resume Format” Waldman states:

“In addition to assembling your various social networks [] Follr lets users combine all their contacts from their different networks[]. You can also incorporate your twitter and blog into your free site (or a blog that you follow), so the latest tweets and posts appear as soon as they’re published.”

Joshua Waldman

Joshua Waldman

Joshua Waldman is an authority on leveraging social media to find employment. I addition to being the author of this book his writing has appeared in Forbes, Mashable and the International Business Times.

Joshua’s career blog, CareerEnlightenment.com, helps thousands of readers each month to get ahead using his job advice. Joshua is a speaker and trainer who specializes in helping job seekers gain control of their careers in today’s competitive economic and technology climates. He presents keynotes, trainings and breakout sessions around the country for students, career advisors, consortiums and professional organizations.

With more than 250 million books in print and more than 1,800 titles the ‘For Dummies‘ series is the most widely recognized and highly regarded reference series in the world. Since 1991 ‘For Dummies’ has helped millions make everything easier.

The book is available via Amazon.com.

How to Set Expectations for Community Growth and Success

Setting expectations helps to secure success in life and business. Online communities are no different.

By setting expectations you help to establish community guidelines and direction, giving focus to the purpose and mission of your community.

To help those building new communities we want to focus today on some of the simplest ways to help set expectations in a new community. These proven suggestions should help to grow engagement, build community interest and establish a solid foundation to grow from.

One of the easiest ways to set expectations is to provide guidance on using the community resources, whether posting questions or topics of discussion, setting standards for interaction and behaviors help to make a community a comfortable place for people to engage with one another.

Follr Community

Community Engagement comes from establishing positive community expectations.

Community Standards
Establish some basic community standards. Suggestions as to the tone of posts, responses and conversation being focused on positive contribution helps to encourage open and creative communication.

People will disagree, people will debate, but as long as the communities remembers to respect the views of others and the community the contribution of those involved will flow much more freely.

Post Forum Topics
Set some basic forums within the community for people to post in. Ideally include a general topic area, questions and answers, and an ideas section. The ideas section will be where your community can provide their ideas for new topics for forums, or even potential opportunities for community involvement or growth through outside connections.

Make It Predictable, Therefore Comfortable
Be certain to seed your community with conversations, questions and shared content. This will encourage others to do the same and help establish the value of the community engagement.

Part of that is establishing a regular posting schedule, a daily topic section or similar style areas to encourage the community to come back regularly and establish a “habit” or checking in.

With these few simple steps you will be on your way to growing an engaged and dynamic Follr Community. How are you helping to set expectations and encourage community interaction?