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Are you working on a new community with big time bells and whistles that caters to a niche that you just know has been waiting for a place to call home? If so, I encourage you to push ahead full steam. But, let me caution you first.

Your new community, no matter how great will not change habits. What I mean by this is you will not be able to stop potential members from posting on Facebook or twitter or their favorite Ning community.  If you are assuming that your new community will become the new gathering place for those belonging to the niche, I think you will be disappointed.

Can you make it a great destination with robust content and interesting discussions? Absolutely. I know from experience what that kind of commitment can do and if you want some ideas on how to grow your community, read through some of the archives, or check out my book, “18 Rules of Community Engagement.”

The main point here is, if you are assuming that you can stop people from spending their time in the mainstream communities, you are way off base.

If you have a presence on those other networks, let the community know that and use them as part of an outpost strategy that highlights all that’s going on in your community. Accentuate the positive, or communicate with your audience in other places whenever you can.

Building a community is a labor of love. (Well, it can also be one of hate if you don’t have support from the top, but I digress…)

You will always think it’s better and deserves to be the center of your members attention, but it won’t be. Certainly not in the beginning.

Accept that you are not an island and work hard to grow your membership.

It’s the only way to grow.


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March 2010

Just so you know

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.


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