Graffiti, broken windows and trash isn’t just a problem because it looks bad, it’s a problem because of what it represents; neglect.
Who wants to buy a home, start a company, or participate in a neglected community?
For most of us, spam isn’t the problem it once was. Our neglect instead shows up in a lack of fresh content, a page of unanswered questions, and an antiquated, poorly designed platform.
If a member visits a homepage and sees a list of unanswered questions, why would they post their own?
If a member sees the last blog post/news update was posted more than a month ago, will they come back often to see what’s new?
If other platforms are clearly better designed and easier to use, why would they use the old, neglected one?
You might get away with each of these for a while, but the harsh reality is your growing community might start to seem neglected.
Responding to every question within 24 hours is great when you’re getting 10 questions a day. Every visitor can see recent questions that received a response. But when you get 100 per day, the 10 that appear on the homepage might not have an answer.
This happens in technology too. There might be nothing wrong with the technology you use today, it stills works fine, but people want to use the best and easiest tools out there.
I suspect the moment the community begins to seem neglected is the moment when you think you’re doing a ‘good enough’ job instead of aiming for better, getting more resources, and always striving to create a better community.