Emotions are powerful; leveraging them (or manipulating them) in the online space can lead to large amounts of traffic and groundswell, and can also help make sure those numbers are kept and maintained.
Facebook does this in an interesting (good?) fashion by showing you some of your friends that will “miss” you if you deactivate your account. Guilt is one obvious emotional response.
Honestly, I’m not so sure that the above people will actually even notice that I’m gone if I left (but I did refresh the deactivation page a couple of times I found a few that might notice…).
But I think this strategy is genius and underscores the importance of tapping into that emotional-investment that one may have with a social networking property and challenges everyone who’s attempting to connect and create community with whether or not they are establishing an emotional connection on any sort of level.
Have you thought about tapping into the emotional level with your organization’s web properties?