Feature: AQHA Community

aqhaEveryone loves horses, especially the American Quarter Horse Association. The Association, or AQHA, is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization. Located in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA operates for the benefit of members around the world. Members enjoy, among other things: America’s Horse Magazine, participation in competitions, horseback riding programs, corporate partner savings, and record keeping of horses.

Members have always been able to submit ideas for improvement at the organization’s website.  But about six months ago, AQHA upgraded their idea submissions by opening an IdeaScale community. This has been the first opportunity for the crowdsourcing and improvement of ideas.

Submitted ideas are categorized into three campaigns: AQHA Membership, Story Ideas (ideas for stories to be included in AQHA publications), and Horse Showing.

One of the most impactful decisions that AQHA has made with relation to their community is to have active moderation. (The decision about level of participation for moderators is one that each community should consider based on their particular needs; while it works for AQHA, it may not be the best choice for all organizations.)

AQHA administrators categorize ideas in the three campaigns further: recent, popular, active, in review, in progress, completed, requires rule change proposal form, and ended. Many of these designations have a colored tab in the upper right corner of the idea to indicate their status at a glance. AQHA moderators also address “ideas” that are more appropriately labeled “questions,” route members to information about ideas they have submitted that are already AQHA features, inform submitters if a rule change proposal form is needed for a particular idea, and respond to ideas with status updates including when ideas are going to be discussed at the annual AQHA Convention.

This moderator participation has served the community well, allowing for streamlined communication between community members and administrators, while also emphasizing communication among community members. For example, the community can focus its time and energy on other ideas if the implementation of one idea is as easy as a rule change proposal form. On the other hand, if an idea is going to be discussed at the annual Convention, it allows for community members to provide their input and elaborations prior to that point.

Which moderation style works best for you and your community?

Click here to explore the AQHA community, or to submit your own ideas if you are an AQHA member.

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