12 Ways To Doom Your Community Before You Launch

April 6, 2009Comments Off on 12 Ways To Doom Your Community Before You Launch

If you get the concept of your community wrong, you’re doomed. This is beyond design and functionality, it’s the concept of what your community will be. Below are 12 more common mistakes.

  1. Don’t offer a unique environment. What makes your community impossible to copy? How are you using your resources to change a condition and create a unique environment? Why can’t this environment be replicated anywhere else.
  2. Dictate your community’s mission statement. Did you set your community’s mission before speaking to your audience? Bad move. Your community’s mission comes from your members.
  3. Forget about the viral feedback loop. Where is the viral feedback loop? Why will members invite friends, who invite friends, who invite friends? What is the benefit to each additional person?
  4. Fail to make to befriend potential members before you launch. Who are you going to tell once you launch a community? If you haven’t made friends in the community first, don’t launch it. If you can’t start conversations with your target audience, don’t start a community.
  5. Pick a tool that your members don’t like. Don’t use the latest web tools because you want to. Thousands of communities thrive on simple, basic forums. Find the simplest tools available, then force yourself to justify any additions.
  6. Make it difficult to form groups. Fail to accommodate people forming groups from themselves. Don’t allow, support and encourage groups to emerge.
  7. Use a Community Tab. Hide your community behind it’s own tab. Either give the community it’s own URL or don’t have one. A tab is insulting to the community you serve.
  8. Make a big announcement. Once you make that big public announcement, you have expectations. Expectations to do things the way you claim regardless of any feedback you receive. Don’t make a big public announcement.
  9. Ignore the real motivations. Don’t ignore the basic motivations and desires of people. Plan ways for members to find fame, money and power amongst the people whom they consider peers.
  10. Don’t plan the first 10 people. Getting your first 10 engaged members is vital. You should plan where they are, how to reach them. Then plan how to go from 10 to 100.
  11. Use fixed objectives and measurements. Don’t set fixed objectives before you start your community. Take an emergent approach. Develop your objectives and measurements from the community. Qualitative outcomes are more important than quantitative metrics.
  12. Leave no-one in charge. Who wakes up worrying about your community every morning? Who is representing you to them and them to you? Who is your expert at making people feel a part of something special. Make sure it’s someone great.

How many of these mistakes do you make?

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