TNNWC Publications And Informational Products Division publishes The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report especially for entrepreneurs and early-stage venturers; free weekly subscriptions to these informative publications are available online to all entrepreneurial Members of TNNWC.

Membership in TNNWC is free (it's automatic for any subscriber to any TNNWC Publication) and available at our website. When you arrive there, just click on any of the JOIN US or BECOME a MEMBER buttons or links.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Will Your Community Survive?

Strategy: What Say You? with Jay Deragon

I participate in dozens of "social communities" and enjoy reading others post and getting feedback on my own post. As these "communities grow" sometimes it seems like "the good old boy politics" begins to creep into the fiber of a community only turn the community into an anti-social place where the politics become more important than the open conversations.

It is this very behavior which bloggers have criticized the big brands for yet some community moderators think they are big and begin to create community rules, practices and behavior they learned from the big. By doing so they are planning the demise of the community they've tried to build.

What Is The "Community" Model?

In the early stages of all this social stuff people from different industries or business practices have created aggregated communities. These aggregated communities enable bloggers to add their own blogs to these communities while maintaining their independence and their own blog identity. The typical aggregated community is supported by corporate sponsors who typically major brands are looking to test the waters of "social media" and to attract a specific audience.

These aggregated communities are supported by advertising and sponsorships. The community moderators seek to recruit the "mega bloggers" whom add related content to the community that keeps the community engaged. They also attempt to create a "soft competitiveness" by listing things like "most read authors, highest rated authors or most comments on a particular post". Additionally they enable a feature to list the highest rated post of the week and occasionally highlight "Bloggers of the Week" or best post of the week. The typical community has between 1,000 to 5,000 registered members.

While initially the model may seem logical it is not sustainable for several reasons. These include:

  1. Moderation of post begins to get anti-social due to petty politics or favoritism
  2. Unless a community has critical mass and grows exponentially on a regular basis, being replaced by brands is inevitable
  3. Members are already distracted by invites and involvement in other larger more dominant communities.
  4. Community aggregation by the Big is already underway segmented by topics, industry and geography
  5. Participants will migrate to the big looking for increased exposure and brand affinity
  6. The big will soon provide economic incentive for bloggers to participate, something the smaller communities can not afford.
  7. Aggregation will soon move to industry sites or to existing major branded "news" brand that adopt the social practices and want to truly collaborate with the small. i.e. Look at Business Weeks Business Exchange
  8. A few of the big brands will finally get it. In getting it they will adopt a more collaborative philosophy and create community models that truly engage the small and provide significant value to emerging markets driven by conversations.
  9. The difference between social networks and social media is becoming blurred and subsequently which network you belong to will no longer be relevant rather which community is the preferred community for your profession or for your personal interest.
  10. The "mesh" of the old media with the new will accelerate given the "wake up" call sent to the brands and the comprehension of "if you don't engage you'll loose".

Can Existing Communities Still Win?

If you moderate a large community centric to industry or topical matters and have active participation you do indeed have the chance to survive and thrive. The faster growing more vibrant communities will likely be sot out by the major brands aligning themselves with the opportunities created by all this social stuff.

The attraction will be driven by several factors including:

  1. # of active participants
  2. The community philosophy and quality of content
  3. Growth rate of membership
  4. Know experts or high profile bloggers whom are active and endorse the community
  5. The quality of thinking and innovative approach to engaging community members
  6. The systemic understanding of the emerging market of markets created by conversations

On the other hand if your community does not focus on the above six value attributes and then it isn't likely to survive. Attraction and traction comes from doing the right things and doing them right. Both are centric to being social and adding more value than is expected.

What say you?

Forward/Share This Article With Colleagues And Social Media:

No comments:

Blog Archive

BNI News Feed

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


Site Credits:

Featured in Alltop
ALLTOP Business
News Wire. HOT.
Cool Javascript codes for websites  Fabulous Free Calendars

Create FREE graphics at