Understanding Longevity Of A Community Tactic

Whenever you try something new, especially something big that everybody in the community sees, you often get a spike in activity.

This happens when you add a new banner, host a new interview series, begin a ‘working out loud’ series, start regular off-topic discussions etc…

When this happens you often get a spike of activity followed by a decline. We’ve seen spikes can be bad. Much of the spike can be explained by curiosity, initial excitement, and a fear of not joining in with the group.

What really matters is what’s happening several weeks later. Don’t compare current data with the initial surge of interest, wait until the surge of interest has died down.

Above we wouldn’t compare late-June 2017 data with the beginning of March. We would compare it to April (post-surge) and see a generally positive, sustainable, trend.

Analyzing post-surge data reveals whether people are getting real value from participating in that tactic. Much of the time, perhaps most of the time, the answer is no. That’s useful to know. You can end tactics which aren’t working or have entered the decline phase and invest that time on new ideas.

Like TV shows, most tactics have a shelf-life. Find the ones which are sustainably growing in popularity and invest more time in them. Stop the ones which are in a decline (or have only a few participants).

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