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Community building can be cold.

Community building can be cold.

This evening I was researching information related to planning, building and sustaining social networks or online communities when I found a great post by CommunitySpark Community Manager Martin Reed entitled “How to build an online community” which helped me with the two most important aspects .

In the first part, Martin identifies 5 questions to ask yourself when planning an online community.

Questions you should be asking yourself include:

  1. Why do you want an online community?
  2. Where do you build the new online community?
  3. Where are your members?
  4. What makes your community unique?
  5. How will you attract members and manage the community?

The second part of the article deals with 5 factors to consider when building an online community.

Factors you should consider include:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Respect your community.
  3. Keep it private (at first).
  4. Have guidelines and processes from day one.
  5. Highlight members and their content.

He concludes the article by saying that you should be realistic and adventurous and commit yourself to managing, measuring and refining your community over the long term because you’re not just building a site to woo potential buyers, you’re building relationships.

I found it a great read, very informative and helpful. There’s just so much new stuff to consider with community building that you have to plan ahead and put yourself in the users shoes to make sure that your venture stands any chance of success. I agree with Martin’s view that community building is about providing and sustaining value for your members in order to create a successful venture in the long term.

I’ll take a turn to answer those questions and review those factors in later posts, but for now I have added Community Spark to my Feedly RSS reader. I’ll also add it to the aggregator when I get that up and running on Cape Town Social using the OneNews WordPress Theme I plan on purchasing as soon as I find my PayPal details.

Wow, that was the first post I have written in ages, I hope you enjoyed it, please share your opinion or let me know what you look for in a social network.