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By Shaili Bhatt, Senior Analyst

It's Friday night, and I am logging in to check posts in the online community. It's true that we can find and recruit people who are ready to talk/type in the day (and night), and yet their enthusiastic, sustained engagement can be an issue for long-term communities.

Your opportunity to connect on a personal level with each participant, particularly at a natural time for conversations, is where the magic happens...

One of my secrets is to spend an hour or two to moderate the discussion on a Friday night.

Friday nights are not just for "going out," even if it's one of the first warm Fridays of Spring or Summer (like tonight when I began to write this)--For some participants, it's their time to connect with friends and family, and even other members in the online community.

My secret is to login to the discussion after work and dinner to connect and let them know that I am right there with them. From prior years of experience, the gesture goes a long way, and the connection that forms among us on these nights is often deep and long-lasting.