Nametag has Closed
After two years of intense learning about facilitated small groups conversations online, Nametag has closed. While the company could not continue, learnings from the project went on to have a substantive impact on the 2018 midterm elections and on digital strategies in a variety of movements. The key learnings are as follows.
Nametag was a chat platform designed to reproduce the experience of a well-facilitated small group conversation. It emphasized group norms, structured introductions, and clear calls to action for participants. Discussions were typically convened by a facilitator and would run for a few hours to a few days at a time.
Compared to large-group asynchronous platforms, such as E-mail lists or Facebook Groups, or public Slack channels, Nametag rooms had the following properties:
Much Higher Engagement
with over 70% of participants actively engaging in conversation (best estimates for asynchronous platforms are all south of 10%.)
More Meaningful and Vulnerable Conversation
with participants regularly sharing personal stories and expressing a willingness to engage with new ideas. Clearly defined norms and a high participant-to-facilitator ratio successfully prevented conversations from becoming toxic.
More People Contributing and Taking Action
in conversations that involved clear calls to action, between 10 and 20% of participants would either donate or commit to some other action step. High rates donation rates in these conversations, including conversion to recurring donations, imply a powerful new model for organizations seeking to activate a community, though this opportunity was not able to be fully explored.
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