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Our Process


Strategic Project Design

Every community, social network, collaboration space, online event is different. The first step in an engagement is for your principal(s) to email Howard Rheingold and set up a telephone conversation. In a few minutes, we can determine whether your organization could make use of our services.

The second step is to conduct a needs analysis and assessment. This involves telephone, face-to-face where practical, and up to three weeks of planning via message board. We start with your business reasons, your customer or constituent, your value proposition and the experience that would deliver it, and derive a plan that covers the interlocking technical, social, and marketing infrastructures necessary for growing successful online social networks. At the end of the assessment period, Rheingold Associates presents a draft Community Specification and Action Plan. After a short period for feedback, comment, and revision, a revised draft is presented.

The Community Specification is meant to be a living document that is built flexibly enough to adapt to changing circumstances, but which clearly shows all the people in your organization how to get to the goal. You can take this planning document and build your social online network in-house, take it to other contractors, or invite Rheingold Associates to bid on appropriate deliverables.

Outsourcing Your Community-Building

Should you accept our bid, we structure a contract that ties payments and deliverables to the action plan, and begin working with your team to launch and grow your virtual community, in-house online think tank, social learning space, global meeting center, online convention. Rheingold assembles a team of experts who have knowledge of your particular subject domain or market segment, along with experience in organizational development, training, and online facilitation. We work together with your teams to launch, grow, and keep your online social networks healthy.

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