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About Rich

  • Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, a community consultancy and Professional Community Management course. Richard is also the author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities. Richard's clients have included Google, AutoDesk, United Nations, Novartis, Wikipedia, Oracle, The World Bank, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Fidelity Investments, and many more. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.

    e-mail: richard@feverbee.com
    T:+44 (0)7763 831931

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Comments

Scott Drummond

This is a great piece Rich. I know I have been guilty of getting very content-focused of late. Part of the solution is to see content as a social object around which passionate experts can more easily congregate and bond. I think content has a part to play in fostering domain-driven ties between community members, though you're absolutely right that the ties have to be there to begin with. Cheers for sharing Rich.

Scotty Holm

Great post. My company asked me to build a community for our clients, and they assumed that by providing content there would be enough to get people to use it. I insisted that content be only 1/2 of the strategy (there is a legitimate need for our clients to access support content there). The other 1/2 is purely focused on encouraging social interaction with peers (our clients are educators, teachers, etc). So far the reception has been positive, but we just opened the doors to all clients this week. I continually read your blog to learn lessons that can be applied moving forward - great work!

Terry Coatta

I think there's a bit of catch-22 here though. If you're trying to build the community from scratch, you don't have anyone to have a conversation with. You don't have the most interesting people to interact with. You need something to kickstart the community/interaction cycle, and in some cases, content might be that ingredient. The data from the folks at MGI indicates that "access to specialized knowledge" is a significant reason why people join associations, and I think that this probably applies more broadly to communities in general.

I certainly don't mean to de-emphasize the value of discussion/interaction. I agree that these are the core values around which the community should be built. But I think that trying to establish a community is one of the hardest things to do, and content can play a role in that.

True Religion Outlet

I’m burnt out. I’m not sure where there is to go. If I even see a stroller stashed in a common area, like last weekend at a condo open house where there were--no joke--seven directly in front of the door of the ground floor apt we had interest in, I will turn around and leave. I can’t stand shared space anymore and I don’t care if people say that’s part of city living because soon enough I will be a genuine old crank.


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