Bigger Is Bad

January 3, 2009Comments Off

Deliberately break your community into as many groups as possible.

If Christopher Allen is right (I’m sure he is), your community will become less fun as you grow. Every member will need to spend more energy to be a member. It’s not sustainable.

Bigger groups are intimidating to newcomers and more exhausting for regulars. Participation becomes a chore. Members will leave and activity dies down.

As your community grows, it needs to develop into hundreds of smaller groups. Members can engage in as many groups as they handle.

Here are some ideas to do this:

  • Issues. If a single issue gets a big response, ask the top provocateurs to form a group about it.
  • Reviwers/Testers. Who wants to review or test your client’s products/services?
  • Events. Who from your community is attending the same upcoming event? Form an event group for them.
  • Geography. Do you have 5 members from Miami? Introduce them to each other.
  • Wise Men. Which members miss the early days? Let them keep going.
  • Newbies. Who has just joined? Introduce them to each other.
  • Task Force. Who wants to fix a problem?
  • Super participators. Invite those with the time to join a super-participators group.
  • Elite Groups. I love these, anyone can be in one. Find what makes your members special and develop an elite group for them.

Imagine your community as a conference hall with a dozens of small groups (5 – 10 people) talking to each other.

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