This is the Google Analytics unique visitors data from a former
Look at the far left. This is when the community began. The
community had minimal traffic, minimal growth. In fact, it began to shrink to
close to zero half way through the year.
This is the point when the community manger loses their hope
(or passion) for the project. This is the point when most organizations cancel
This is the point where organizations need to push through.
Traffic picked up just after the summer and grew slowly, but
steadily, until January 2010 when growth took off. Do you know what we began
doing differently in January?
This is just the purely random tipping point where the
community reached enough people that it gained attention beyond its borders.
There are a lot of lonely community builders posting daily
questions that receive few responses, hosting events few people attend, and
creating daily content that hardly anybody reads. This is lonely, frustrating
work. You have to push through this phase.
Focus on those first 50 active members, write about what
they’re doing, identify the most interesting discussions, build strong relationships
with each of them.
The danger isn’t that you never reach the tipping point. The
danger is you give up just before you do.