Some, like 4Chan, revel in their reputation
for rude/crass jokes and broadly bugging people. Others, like Mumsnet, love
their reputation as activists helping mums achieve their goals.
Your community’s reputation matters.
If it’s good, more people join the community and members participate more frequently. The better the reputation, the more
people want to associate themselves with the group identity.
If the reputation of your community is bad,
people participate less. They’re less likely to refer others to join the
community. Those that hear about the community become less likely to join.
Sometimes being bad is good. A rebellious
anti-establishment, community can attract the exact sort of members you want. However,
this is rare. It’s usually important to have a
positive reputation. This is a reputation you need to grow and nurture.
You need a clear, consistent, message about
how the community helps members. You need to build relationships with the
influencers in your sector. Your community needs to work to improve its broader sector.
You need to be honest about any problems within the community and highlight the
actions you’re taking to resolve them. None of this is difficult to do.
The ‘screw them’ attitude is fun for a while, but it will bite you later on.