Most Organizations Shouldn’t Start A Community
Last night's #cmgrchat revealed some classic examples of groupthink.
Amongst the examples was the belief that every organization should have a community.
Would you want to join a community for that keyboard you're using? The mouse? How about that biro you use to make notes?
The majority of organizations shouldn't have communities because they don't do anything or sell something that people have a strong common interest in. We all drink water but few of us would like to be in a community started by the water company. Imagine the idiocy of every food and ingredient on your plate having its own community.
Certainly organizations can go beyond their immediate products to find a strong interest that unites their audience; Pampers Village is about parenting rather than nappies. But this can only be stretched so far.
There is a limit on the number of communities a single individual can meaningfully participate in (I suspect this is usually 1) and therefore a limit on the number of communities which can exist. Communities yield tremendous benefits to the right sort of organizations. For most organizations, however, it's simply not a good fit.