This post is based on a talk that I gave at the inaugural Social Media Club Adelaide meeting. It shares some of my favourite community building ideas.
It’s natural to be drawn towards communities that appeal to what interests us. The web is full of amazing people that share our passions from around the world. That’s what makes it a great tool for community.
The most important question to ask when it comes to this is: What are you willing to give to your community to get what you want out of it?
Communities are shaped by its manager, members, and tools. Managers are shaped by drive, interests and experiences. Members are shaped by expectations, abilities, and experiences. Tools are shaped by features and limitations. Knowing each aspect of your community will help you to make the most out of it.
It’s about finding out what people want from the community. To do that, community managers and members need to learn how to ask the right questions.
Things can grow so much better and bigger when you’re not doing it on your own. Community building means knowing when to let go and allowing others to bring something special to whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. It’s not about owning it, but sharing it. It’s how communities grow.
This is an old adage that works really well with online community building. Growing a community online literally means being open to a world of possibilities. And, wherever you might be in the world, it’s always good to take things offline. Find different ways to meet and greet your community face-to-face. It makes a huge difference.
Here is the slide deck from my presentation:
Shai Coggins is the Manager and Chief Digital Media Specialist at Vervely, an Australia-based agency serving local and international clients. One of the company's main clients is Microsoft. Shai has been featured in a number of media due to her online work, including being named as one of Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list (2009).