If you’re about a new online community, here are some things you should be worrying about.
- Developing a core group of members. Develop a core small group of members first. Spend time with each. Make the community part of something they’re invested in. Be sure that by the time you launch the website you have a dedicated group of people who are keen to use it.
- Sustaining momentum. An online community with a low level of activity dies very quickly. You need to plan out the first few weeks of your community so activity steadily increases. How are you going to either secure more of a member’s time or recruit more members?
- Appealing to a strong self-interest. Develop strong appeals to the self-interests of members. Members aren’t interested in the greater good, that wont sell. They’re interested in satisfying their egos, being recognised for their talents/knowledge/skills and having power amongst their peers.
- Persuading members to make a second visit. Getting a member to visit once is easy. That second visit is much harder. What are you going to ask a member to do in their first visit to ensure they return?
- Concentrating activity. You need to hold back elements of your website to keep the activity concentrated in areas. This creates an active atmosphere and ensures unused features aren’t indicating a quiet site.
You might think there are more than these 5, and there are, but if you can get these 5 right you’re doing far better than most new online communities.