Too Much Expertise

If you ask a question and you don’t receive a quick response, you’re going to be annoyed, frustrated, and probably call customer support.

If you ask a question and receive 50 responses, that’s going to be pretty frustrating too.

Do you really want to test 50 solutions to find the one that works for you? Too much advice can be as frustrating as too little.

Usually, those 50 responses coalesce around a few similar ideas to test – but you still need to sift through a lot of responses to work that out (and then test the top ideas).

Somewhere between 0 and 50 lies the optimum number of responses. That number is 1. You only want 1 response…the right response (note: this obviously varies in discussion communities)

The more responses you have to sift through to find the solution, the more exasperated you’re going to feel.

Once a community has a high answer rate to questions (usually > 90%), your time is far better spent increasing the quality of answers in your community than the quantity of answers. This might result in fewer responses (less engagement!), but happier members.

Far too many people keep tackling the ‘too few answers’ problem (updating gamification systems, MVP programs, more recognition etc…) when they should be tackling the ‘too many’ problem. This is a very different type of work. Often more based in technology, relationships, and moderation.

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