Consider these Thoughts if You are Establishing or Managing an Online Community
Friday, I began to note areas of concern that can negatively impact online communities. I thought I would continue with a few additional points to consider when hosting a community or in general for social media posts.
One thing to consider is the engagement level of the community host and as much as it may pain us we have to think about how much the personality of the host may play in the success or failure of a community. If the host is not engaging, it will be exceedingly difficult to hold the interest of the community. So not only must the content be interesting the way it is broached with the community seems to be key also. This makes sense but is truly a worrisome point for the community leader. To neglect this would probably be a nail on the community so to speak.
The tool used for the community can also be an issue. If the software does not help the members get to know one another or is difficult to use that may be a deal breaker. It is no doubt that people learn more software today than they ever have, but no one wants to add another hard to understand software product to their day, especially for something that is a leisure time activity, like most communities. This seems like a key consideration.
Nothing in it for them. In the end the community seems doomed if there is no solid reason for the members to return. If they do not learn something they want to know, have a chance to engage with others about topics of real interest and / or have no access to current or relevant content that me become the big deciding point.
These and probably others are all reasons a community may teeter on the line of failure.
These are probably somewhat obvious reasons for communities to struggle, but I think they are worth new consideration in these days where we are being drawn into more and more online community related activities, both in the work and home environment. Perhaps if nothing else, this information will arm us with good points for thought and discussion when we realize, that something just is not right with a community we are participating in. Perhaps we will gain the words and ability to bring the issue to the forefront before our time is wasted and another community does not meet the result everyone intended and hoped for.
Do you have any other pain points we really need to consider? Share your thoughts, perhaps you can help us all learn from your experiences.