Why do you personally participate in your community?
If your community is your hobby, then continue as you were. It's just for fun.
If you're being paid to manage the community, you need to know the goal of your own participation.
Your goal in the inception stage might be to
stimulate activity to reach critical mas. This is reasonable. In the
maturity stage your goal might be to gain influence. This is also a credible
Yet, there is a clear difference in actions between
This is why it’s smart to know why you are
personally participating in the community and what you intend to achieve.
If you’re participating to build influence
and credibility, then refrain from the casual chatter and focus on adding
unique value/insight in every discussion.
If you’re trying to build relationships
with key members, then focus on the discussions in which those members are also
participating and on personal interactions with them.
If you’re participating to get the
community started, then you need to initiate discussions based upon the topics people most want to talk about (typically those which are most emotive, highlight common problems, common experiences or common aspirations).
There is no harm in aimless participation, there is just no use in it either.