NOTE: This started to be a very long post, so I’ll split up into chapters.

Some notes from the Buliding Online Communities seminar on Day 1…

Dynamics at work in communities

  • Let people behave the way they are hard-wired by evolution to behave: in tribes and social groups
  • People will spontaneously form communities whether you are involved or not
  • The community will do your work for you if you align yourself with them in the right ways
  • The more CONTENT you have the more members you will get.
  • The more MEMBERS you have the more CONTENT you will get.
  • The better you match CONTENT and MEMBERS to MEMBER PROFILES the more MEMBERS and CONTENT you will get.
  • The technology infrastructure of the community is important
  • The social infrastructure of the community is more important
  • The easier it is to do TRANSACTIONS the more MEMBERS you will attract.
  • Communities work because they bring value to the users. The job of companies who want to build (and possibly monetise) communities is to work out how to align their business goals with what community users are trying to transact/do/achieve.

What are the human motivations making this happen?

  • People want to connect with other people
  • People want to help and be helped – it’s a reflex!
  • People operate either in one of two frameworks: social framework and market framework
  • Success happens within a social framework. Switching to a market framework screws up the dynamics of your community

 Reasons companies use communities:

  • Amplify word of mouth
  • Canary in the coalmine – an early indicator of customer service issues
  • Market research
  • Long tail sales
  • Idea generation
  • New product Devleopment
  • Employee communications
  • Reputation management
  • Customer service

Which areas of the company typically have communities under their control (in order of prevalence):

  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Produc development
  • Customer Service
  • IT
  • Sales
  • Employee communications
  • R&D
  • Finance
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