Stealing Ideas From Other Online Communities

August 22, 2014Comments Off on Stealing Ideas From Other Online Communities

You should borrow as many ideas event, discussion, and content ideas from successful communities as you can.

A few examples of these.

Visit 5 communities of the same type (place, practice, interest, action, circumstance). It doesn't matter if they're in your topic.

Click on the general category of discussions. List the discussion by the number of views/replies. Make a list of great discussion ideas. 

Take the StudentDoctor site below:

Some of these are too specific to student doctors.

But we can certainly see discussions "If you could do it over again would you?", "How to blow your shot at …" and "Most ridiculous question from a {x} while {y}" being popular in other communities too. 

That's 3 possible discussions from just the first top results from the first community you've researched. We also notice they do a popular "20 questions with…" feature. We can bring this to our communities. Then we see they have a big list of free downloadable resources. There will be ideas here we can borrow.

Now we look at the business side. What do they have listed on their advertising material? Any ideas there? What partners do they have? Is there any inspiration for organisations our community can partner with? Can we also create a job/career center for our communities?

That's a lot of inspiration for just a few minutes of research into popular communities. 

If you browse around enough communities you begin to find the types of content, discussions, and events that have universal appeal (e.g. Ask me anything!) and can develop a big playbook of tactics for any community you ever work on. 

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