How To Know Which Discussions Will Be Most Popular For Your Community (before you launch)

November 4, 2013Comments Off on How To Know Which Discussions Will Be Most Popular For Your Community (before you launch)

We have a template list of conversation starters for each of the five types of communities (action, circumstance, interest, place, and practice). 

Each is adapted to the specific community. We've covered this before. 

It's not difficult to build up a very large list of discussions to launch your community with (and by launch, we mean initiate and then nudge people to respond to, or inviting specifically for their expertise/interest in that discussion). 

You can build up this list by considering these questions

  1. What do people talk about socially at events?
  2. What have people said are their biggest problems? 
  3. What are the common goals/aspirations members have?
  4. What are the most popular categories in other communities?
  5. What are the most popular discussions in other communities?
  6. What are the common artifacts? 
  7. What do they spend most of their time doing? 
  8. What topics do people get emotional about? 
  9. What topics polarize people?

The second is research. To be more specific, we copy the types of discussions which have worked well elsewhere. Go to almost any forum and identify the most popular categories of discussions. Then within these categories, list discussions by the number of responses. You can find the most popular discussions of all time

Let's imagine we were interested in internet marketing. We search for internet marketing forums and find the WarriorForum

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 16.46.54

Within this forum we can see many popular categories of topic (all of which could be a community by themselves. 

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 16.46.23

If we select any category, Mobile Marketing for example, we can see the discussions which gained the most responses and are most popular within that community.

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 17.01.03

Based upon this, we have a very good idea of what types of discussions (and how to structure those discussions) to appeal to our audience. 

This would include:

  • Lots of personal testimonies (bragging/status-orientated discussions)
  • Equipment related discussions. E.g. comparisons {x} -vs- {x}
  • How to articles
  • Showcase of the biggest successes
  • Hypothetical/opinion-seeking questions "do you really think that {x} will be the next big thing?

Now you apply this to your own community structure and begin the discussions. The same wording/structure for a similar community can easily apply to your own. 

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