The name for the book, Buzzing Communities, was fairly obvious.
But what does a buzzing community look like?
There are three elements:
1) High levels of growth
Buzzing communities have high levels of community-driven growth. They have surpassed critical mass. They attract enough members to replace those they lose. This is important both for moment, but also new ideas, perspectives, fresh debate, and new relationships to form.
In a community with high levels of growth, most members would come via word of mouth. This might be sharing of activity on other platforms, mentions in real time discussions, collaborative content that's spreading, mentions on other sites. This is sustainable growth.
2) High levels of activity
Buzzing communities have high levels of activity, both overall and per average member. There is a big difference between 100 members each participating once per month and each participating 1000 times per month. This activity is between members and it's not continually stimulated by the community manager.
In a buzzing community, you would expect to see low response times to new discussions, a large number of responses to each new discussions, plenty of new discussions, a high number of return visits per month.
3) A strong sense of community
A buzzing community has a strong sense of community. Members feel they are part of something special. They recognise other members, refer to previous activities/actions between members, perhaps have in-jokes, use common symbol systems, and feel they have influence over the community.
In a buzzing community, the sense of community keeps members together even when new or better platforms come along, activity dips, or growth slows. The sense of the community is the glue that keeps members together.
The great thing about a buzzing community is it's all entirely measurable. You can measure growth, activity, and sense of community (via surveys). Once you measure it, you can identify specifically what you need to work on.
You can buy Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities through the links below