This one’s from web developer and podcaster Paul Boag in the UK, who outlines seven ‘harsh truths’ for website owners about choosing to start a community on their site. What follows is an excerpt.
1. Technology does not create community
Community is about people and relationships, not technology. The technology is the easy part. You can have a forum like Vanilla up and running in minutes, but it will take months of hard work to build a vibrant community.
If you implement the technology and just sit back then your community will fail.
2. Show some commitment
Too many website owners start communities only to give up when they do not see fast results. A community can take months to get off the ground and years before it shows real returns.
It also takes ongoing input. To make your community successful it must be nurtured on a daily basis.
3. Learn how to lead
You need to mobilise people around a common cause and stamp your personality on the community.
4. An antisocial community is your fault
As the leader of your community, your personality sets the tone. As a result if the community behaves in ways you do not want, then you only have yourself to blame.
The rest of Paul’s post fleshes out these points and talks about handling criticism, avoiding ‘marketing’ to your community and making sure your community doesn’t languish.