As a developer of an online community, it is essential that you are always proactive and thinking about the future. If you don’t watch the competition and think about whether your members will be happy tomorrow, you are only inviting stagnation, decline and the ultimate death of your community.
Always plan for the future
It doesn’t matter how well your community is doing at the present moment in time – things change. As well as having contingency plans in case anything goes wrong, you should always be researching new features and additions to your site.
Peoples’ tastes change. Older members may start to get bored with your site if nothing has changed for years. New members may see your community as stale and outdated if you are not changing with the times and adopting new technology and new features.
Be proactive not reactive
Being proactive isn’t just about planning for the future – it is about getting things done before they become a problem. Don’t assume your site has no broken links just because you haven’t found any – be proactive and check for yourself. Don’t assume your scripts are working fine because you haven’t received any complaints – test them thoroughly and continuously. A script that is working fine today may not be in a week or so; that’s part of the joy of running a website – things that are fine today may suddenly fail tomorrow!
So you have a nice new design you are about to unveil but haven’t got around to ironing out the last few bugs? Well I guess it doesn’t matter as people aren’t shouting out for a better site design and navigation, eh? Don’t be lazy – be proactive: finish and release that new design now. If you put it off until tomorrow, you will do the same again tomorrow and before you know it your new design is outdated before it has even launched.
Are you starting to see an increase in spam memberships in your forum? Well, they haven’t made any posts yet so why not leave it for now, eh? Don’t be a fool! If you see spam accounts, you should be deleting them immediately. By the time they start to bombard your site with spam, it may be too late for you to keep the spammers in check. You need to be proactive, not reactive – get things done before they become a big issue.
Don’t forget to act on your plans and get things done!
Of course, knowing you need to do something and actually doing it are two completely different things! You could have the best plans in the world, the best intentions, the best revolutionary new idea to hit the Web, but if you don’t actually get off your arse and do it, it’s meaningless.
Plan for the future, be proactive and GET THINGS DONE!