Sometimes organizations launch a community for multiple groups at once.
You might create multiple communities around products, languages, regions, departments, or other existing groups.
Organizations do this because it’s the end goal. They think the way the community looks at the beginning is how it will look at the end. They’re wrong.
Sometimes they do this because a stakeholder might get upset. At The Global Fund we were forced into launching communities in dozens of different languages because they represented significant donors.
Neither of these are valid reasons. You still reach the end goal, just through an approach more likely to succeed. The internal stakeholder will be more upset when their community fails rather than waiting their turn for it to succeed.
Please don’t attempt multiple communities at once. It splits your efforts, multiplies mistakes, slows progress, and has a high failure rate.
Only build one community at a time. When it reaches critical mass, then begin your next one. There are several benefits to this approach.
First, you learn a lot from building a community. You learn what does and doesn’t work. You learn internally how to manage a community. You learn processes you can perfect and apply to your next communities. Once you can build one community, it’s easier to build future communities. But if you try to build multiple communities at once, you repeat the same mistakes and have no second chance.
Second, you have focus. You can channel your resources into getting each community off the ground. A community needs that manpower to reach critical mass.
If you have a big enough team to develop multiple communities at once - don’t. Use that team to build one community really quickly and then work on the next.