The Culture And The Egg
Do you need activity before you can create culture?
Or do you need a strong culture to build the activity?
You can probably find examples of individuals with a unique personality who raised a flag and found a group rally to them. I bet you can’t find many examples though.
Culture is typically emergent, not deterministic. Culture tends to emerge from activity. If you get the concept right, you’ll get activity. From the activity connections form. You begin to notice patterns and find opportunities to emphasize the parts of the culture you like.
It’s tempting to copy the fun stuff from other communities. That only works well if you’re in the same stage of the lifecycle and of similar size. Ask me Anything seems less wise if no-one asks questions. Referring to members by a colloquial name you’ve just invented isn’t smart if members haven’t internalised themselves under that name.
We all know how forced fun makes us feel. We reject it.
This doesn’t mean you can’t do any of these, you just need to be patient about it.
First drive activity by focusing on inception stage tasks. Initiate discussions, reply to discussions, prompt people to participate in them, build notification-induced habits.
As you move to the establishment stage of the lifecycle, gradually drop in the culture elements.