Feature Creep and Rejecting Platforms

July 25, 2013Comments Off on Feature Creep and Rejecting Platforms

Feature creep is dangerous for communities.

It results in organizations rejecting perfectly good
platforms. Instead, they spend $100k+ developing a bespoke platform. This is
incredibly risky.

First, you have to find a company with a proven track record
of developing successful community platforms. This means visiting the platforms
they created. Look to see if there is any activity between members on that platform.

Second, you have to give the company the right
specification. If you haven’t created a community before, that’s difficult.
Then you also need a wireframe. Most bespoke community platforms end up as
content sites. Why? Because everyone has far more experience creating content
sites than communities.

There are a staggering number of organizations willing to
hand $100k+ to people with no track record developing successful communities.
This isn’t a place to learn on the job. Future fixes and changes are costly.
That’s money that could be spent hiring more and better community
professionals.

Don’t develop your own bespoke community platform. With few
exceptions, your community can survive without that 1 feature a platform is
missing (calendars, resources areas, wikis, blogs, groups, multimedia sharing,
and gamification/voting).

If you are developing your platform, then make absolutely sure you have people with a
track record doing this. If you want a shortcut, look at a successful community
(not content site) and copy as much of that as possible.

 

 

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