The more time someone spends online, the more privacy and security start to affect their browsing behavior. People are becoming increasingly concerned about where they share their personal information and who can access it.
With that in mind, the question of whether or not to use the Registration option when leading an exchange becomes an important one.
The benefits of using registration
Turning Registration on means stakeholders need to create a Thoughtexchange account using their email and a password before they can participate. This option includes many benefits for participants.
The most obvious benefit is that signing in with a unique email address allows the software to recognize an individual participant. That means a person who has already participated and is returning to share or rate more thoughts from a new device can pick up right where they left off, rather than starting the process over. This person will not have to repeat any steps, like answering demographic questions. The Discover step will also contain some cool, personalized features like allowing them to see how the thoughts they previously entered are being rated by other participants. They can even see a breakdown of how their starring behavior compares to the rest of the group.
From your perspective as a leader, registration shows who has participated in an exchange and who you need to invite again. You won’t be able to see who shared which thought or how certain individuals rated thoughts, but you will know who has logged into an exchange and who hasn’t.
The drawbacks of registration
While these additional features are great and can really enhance the participants' experience, there are also trade-offs that go along with using registration.
First, registration creates an extra step for participants before they can start sharing thoughts. Participants, especially those who have never seen a Thoughtexchange before, may also be wary of sharing their email address without knowing how it will be used.
When to use registration
Now that you know the pros and cons, when does it make sense to require registration and when it is best to make it optional?
Requiring registration is a good option if:
- You are reaching out to a small group of people who you communicate with regularly. If you’re confident that the people you’re inviting will understand why you’re asking them to register and what the advantages are, that can be a great fit.
- You need to know who has participated and who has not. If you are engaging staff about an important topic and you need everyone to weigh in, registration will let you track who has logged in and who hasn’t. That will let you send targeted reminders or give some polite taps on the shoulder, without contacting your whole email list again.
- Your community is familiar with Thoughtexchange. Once participants have seen the process and know that their information is not linked to the thoughts they share, they’ll be more comfortable registering. When they learn how much easier participation gets after signing up, they might even wonder why they waited at all.
Avoid registration if:
- It’s your first Thoughtexchange. It takes time to understand how new things work. And, while your team is getting used to being part of an exchange, having registration as an option but not a requirement removes a step and gets them answering your question a little faster.
- You are engaging stakeholders with whom you’re working to build trust. If your participants aren’t used to being part of the decision-making process, it can be helpful to let them participate without sharing identifying information. This lets them learn how the process works and what you will do with the ideas they share.
- You are conducting a Thoughtexchange live in a meeting or town hall setting. Conducting a live Thoughtexchange can be a great way to set an agenda or guide a conversation with a large group of people. However, if your audience has just 10 minutes to participate at the beginning of a meeting, you want them to spend all of that time sharing and rating thoughts, not registering.
Have questions about registration? Drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.