Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wasting millions trying to build your own communities

I've been saying this for a long time-- the strategy is not to try to build your own communities it's to join the communities where they are already gathered. This new study by Ed Moran of Deloitte provides the exclamation point: Why Most Online Communities Fail:

Thirty-five percent of the [corporate] online communities studied have less than 100 members; less than 25% have more than 1,000 members - despite the fact that close to 60% of these businesses have spent over $1 million on their community projects.

I know I must sound like a broken record on this point, but the message just isn't sinking in. What's it going to take for people to "get" this? A million dollars or 10 million dollars. It doesn't matter. The people are not coming. You have to go to them. It's pretty simple actually.


Simon said...

It's a great question... but what is answer? Perhaps we'll just have to spend a million on giving away 'free' beer for those how log in?

Anonymous said...

My perspective is that you create information assets that make you worth coming to. Then you connect those in as many ways as you can. Couple this with the idea that most people come to sites based on search and that search values external links.

Viewed from this perspective, the web is the first and biggest social network. These other walled gardens are secondary and are only helpful inasmuch as they help you gain a greater share of the web writ large.

PS I would like some way to have my comments plugged into my twitter stream. How to do that?