I'm giving a conference talk on Wednesday this week on 'Harnessing The Power Of Online Communities'. One of the things I will be saying is that I believe that almost all of the important learnings I have gained about how online communities work have come through being a part of one. In order to illustrate how productive the community can be I thought it might be fun to crowdsource some opinion, which I will feature in my talk. In return, I thought I'd share a few of the major points that I'll be making:
- Understand that it's not about the technology. It's about the people.
- Don't think about how you can create an online community. Communities already exist. So think about how you can help that community do what it wants to do.
- And give them something useful
- Engage, participate, listen
- Above all, know your audience
So, I'd love to know in one sentence – what is your maxim for how best to engage and facilitate an online community? Or, if you prefer, how not to…