Narrowing the scope is an effective tool to solve many community problems.
It’s tempting to try to do too much. Your community might have multiple goals. Your community might have an array of features members can use.
Focus on just getting one active discussion, then two.
Focus on achieving one goal, then two.
Focus on getting members to use just one area of the site, then two.
Narrowing the scope works for several reasons. First, it establishes momentum. Once you have one active discussion, it’s much easier to get two active discussions going. Once you have two, it’s even easier to get 3, then 4…
Second, it simplifies the actions you need to take. You can cut out 90% of your work and dedicate all your efforts to the quick wins you need to gain momentum.
Third, it’s clear to members what they should be doing. It builds up pressure within a fixed area of the platform. It sets a clear path for activity and future activities.
A broader scope doesn’t help make your community more interesting or more successful. A broader scope hurts your community’s ability to establish momentum and reach critical mass.
Focus on one tiny thing. A simple, quick, win perhaps. It’s easy to have too broad a scope. It’s difficult to have a scope that’s too narrow.