Too many community managers see cliques as a bad thing (Tommy tried to stamp them out completely). Doing this can bring a community to its knees and strip it of its personality.
Cliques are a good thing for an online community. When members form smaller groups, it makes a community stronger. By trying to stamp them out and making all your members ‘equal’, you’re crushing your community’s spirit.
Cliques make online communities exciting and vibrant. Arguments, debates and rivalry are the fuel that keep communities alive and keep them interesting.
Yes, cliques can make a community seem intimidating to new members – but that’s a good thing. The harder it is to join your community and integrate within the existing membership base, the more committed and dedicated to your community that new member will be.
Instead of worrying about cliques, encourage them.