Published by Peggy on 25 Mar 2009 at 08:54 am
Last week I attended the Online Community Business Forum in Sonoma, CA. It brought together a select group of business leaders who manage online communities. Over two days we shared our learnings and challenges. All of us agreed that building communities online is hard work, yet highly rewarding. Here are a few key topics that we discussed:
Importance of value/purpose
To create a dynamic community, you need a special purpose for people to connect. Cultivating community cannot happen without something to connect with and about. See a recent post on defining a compelling purpose from the WiserEarth blog.
Is your network a network based on trust? Allen Blue, Co Founder of LinkedIn, shared that a network of trust is sufficient for an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and that a trusted network is more likely to grow on its own.
|Communities have various types of users:
90% lurkers: New users – Wanderers – Lurkers
90% of your community will consume your content while only 1% will provide the content.
Know your community’s ecology and who to give attention to.
Listen to Conversation on Social Media tools
Know what is being said about your community and your service online. Ensure that you respond and monitor on a daily basis. For more information on listening tools, check out WeareMedia.org, a project curated by NTEN.
Engage your Ecosystem
Provide ways for your community to ask questions. Know when to not engage. Often your community will respond for you. Monitor the conversations without moderating them. See tips from Jen Burton, Community Manager at Digg.com
Online Community building never gets easier. Each stage comes with its own challenges. The rule is to experiment, fail fast, and have fun!
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