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Why You Shouldn’t Launch A Community

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

Here is a simple task, search for the phrase launches an online community.

You can use Google, press release distribution websites, or the search function of marketing publication/trade websites.

Within a few minutes you should see a number of organizations that have announced the launch of a community. The majority will look at little like this.

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 11.15.20
With so much literature available on the internet about developing communities, there is no excuse for this. This community has fallen victim to big launch syndrome.

This organization has sent their entire audience to visit an empty community. What a waste. Over a week has passed and there still isn’t any activity.

The problem is we’re used to a launch. We’re used to that big day where the community goes live to the world. We’re exciting about announcing it. We wait for it to begin doing the work that we should be doing. We forget we should only launch a community when we’re ready.

This is a mistake. We should skip the launch. Ignore it entirely.

Start by interacting with a small number of your target audience. Find out what they’re interested in (biggest problems/challenges). Once the platform is ready, initiate discussions on those topic and invite them to participate.

Then reach out to a few more people, get to know them, find out what they’re interested in, then invite them to participate in the community too. You don’t launch, you just keep repeating the process until the community reaches critical mass.

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