Traditions can be a lot of fun and create some great memories for your online community members. They don’t have to come from you, necessarily – they don’t even have to be organized or spearheaded by you, though that will often be the case. Even if you just make sure they run smoothly and are well-supported.

What traditions do you have in your community, that you and your members look forward to? Let me know in the comments.

There are numerous traditions that we have at There are threads that are revived or restarted annually. There is a member of the month award, a yearly awards program, the celebration of various milestones and more. Earlier this year, I had an idea for a new tradition. is 14 years old and, for every year of its existence, I have posted an announcement to mark the community’s half-birthday. I’m not sure why I started this, but I’ve always done it.

In the announcement, I try to do something more than just mark the passing of time. I ask members a question, I honor a group of members, etc. I thought it would be fun to change it up – to tweak the tradition. I talked with the staff about the idea, and they loved it.

What I wanted to do was to have the most senior member of my staff to address the community on the half-birthday. Personally, I’m used to addressing the community. I do it all the time. Depending on your setup, it might be something your staff does a lot, but mine doesn’t. They talk with members constantly, but as far as general announcements, I tend to handle most of that.

It’s a fun, honorary way to recognize tenure. Even though I try to keep them fresh, sometimes announcements can blend together for me. That’s only natural. But since it’ll be a unique experience for the staff member, there is an opportunity for something really great to happen.

I will speak with the staff member in advance, to make sure they are comfortable with it. I’ll ask them to come up with a theme and write up a draft for us to review in advance. If the staff member doesn’t want to do it, the second most senior member of the team will have the opportunity. I can see a scenario where the most senior staff member, in the future, might purposefully choose to skip a year so that another person has a chance.

We’ll be doing it for the first time on November 21 (which also happens to be my birthday). I look forward to seeing how my staff member chooses to use the platform.