When designing a new site feature or planning a new campaign, I always create with a rule of thumb in mind: "Lower cognitive friction and make it as effortless as possible for the user to participate." Less fields in the signup form, less clicks to a destination, a better FAQ page... Then I heard Ted Hunt from Innocent Drinks, during Fuel Conference on Friday, who talked about the +400,000 hats that were knitted during The Big Knit campaign for the Age Concern charity.
Knitting. Four hundred thousand hats.
Nobody's getting paid to do this, and some participants even learned to knit specifically for the occasion. That's when it struck me; far more important than reducing friction to participation is engaging the community so that they're willing to do something crazy - like knitting hats - to support your cause.