Jon organised a community event in Cheltenham last month. The event was to decide how to improve the lower end of the high-street. No-one showed up. It didn’t sound fun. It didn’t kick start the community.
It’s nearly impossible to build a community if your members aren’t having fun. If you make your community fun people will participate more. They invite others. They work hard to make it better.
So encourage the fun, silly, things in your community. Have awards for craziest avatars. Build forums for the off-topic stuff. Let the casual chatter thrive, it’s mostly what friends discuss anyhow. Focusing on the fun, is a good way to bring people together.