Structuring People vs. Discussions

July 7, 2015Comments Off on Structuring People vs. Discussions

Do categories serve a purpose? 

When you're with your friends, do you categorise discussions neatly into different areas of the room? Or time-slots within the hour?

In most communities, the 'general/off-topic' categories are the most popular.

Most people don't want to talk within categories. 

If members are looking for information on a topic, a good search box trumps a category every time. If members are going to ask a question, asking it in a category ensures far fewer people will see it. If you want to structure useful information for members to find, wikis, ebooks, and simplifying highlighting good discussions are better options.

Displaying bad discussions alongside your most valuable ones makes categories redundant. 

Categories work well in broad communities where members are likely to only participate within one group. FitBit has distinct categories for distinct goals, for example. But here they're not structuring discussions, they're structuring people. And structuring people is the secret. 

Take communities for us community professional. Is it better to structure a community by topics such as strategy, measurement, platforms, growth or better to structure a forum by people such as non-profit, B2B, internal etc…?

You are probably far more keen to interact with one specific group on many topics, than with many different groups on one topic. 

Stop creating so many categories. Structure the community by people instead.

Create people-oriented sub-groups when the majority of discussions no longer appeals to the majority of members. 

Comment on this post at FeverBee Experts

©2023 FeverBee Limited, Apartment 2410, 251 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 6FN England FEVERBEE

We’d like you to join us.

We’re a group of community professionals who push each other to the cutting edge of our work. Every day we share our experiences, highlight new expertise, and push one another to become the best community builders we can be.

The day you join, you’ll get access to 1000+ practical tips, dozens of resources, and unlimited access to the top experts in our space. You’ll also get to see how we go about building a community amongst our own audience.

It takes just 30 seconds and doesn’t cost a thing.


Level Price  
ALL COURSES $750.00 per Month.
Community Development Program $1,100.00 per Month.
Director of Community $8,770.00 per Month.
Free Trial - Accelerator Program Free.
Community Accelerator (founding members) [annually] $250.00 per Year.
Community Accelerator and FeverBee Intelligence [monthly] $45.00 per Month.
Community Accelerator and FeverBee Intelligence [annually] $450.00 per Year.
Full Community Upgrade (Large Enterprise Only) [monthly] $750.00 per Month.
Full Community Upgrade (Large Enterprise Only) [annually] $7,600.00 per Year.