Important community building questions

by Martin Reed on 3 March 2009 in Articles

community building questions pdf

I don’t like seeing online communities fail. They are a wasted opportunity and can even damage the brand they were built to enhance.

Let’s set ourselves a challenge for 2009 2010 2011 – let’s increase the proportion of successful online communities. We can’t build a successful community just by throwing money at it. We can’t build a successful community just by offering the best technology and features.

We need to know why we want to build a community before we ask ourselves how.

Please download my Community Building Questions PDF and share it with as many people as you can. If we ask ourselves more questions before we attempt to build communities, maybe more of them will be successful.

community building questions

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lchislett March 3, 2009 at 2:36 pm

This is very helpful for the work I am doing in establishing on-line education communities within a knowledge management system the NYC Schools has created for this purpose.

Mr Woc March 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Hi there

I will indeed download it, any rules on passing this on to others ?


Martin Reed - Blog Author March 3, 2009 at 4:52 pm

lchislett – Sounds fascinating! I hope the document helps.

Mr Woc – Please share the file with anyone and everyone; just don’t edit the document or reproduce the work claiming it to be your own. I want this document to be read by as many people as possible.

Amish March 4, 2009 at 10:05 am

Have downloaded and shall strictly follow your guidelines given to Mr Woc. Thanks.

Amish March 4, 2009 at 10:13 am

In the questionaire, two questions that intrigue me are:

10. Is your company flexible and adaptable enough for an online community?
11. Do you have complete management buy-in? If not, how will you get it?

How would you put it if I am the company? The sole proprietor?

Martin Reed - Blog Author March 4, 2009 at 11:18 am

Amish – If you are a sole proprietor, the same questions apply – just slightly reword them. Is your business flexible enough, and are you open to change according to the demands of your customers in the community? Are you determined to make a success of the community? Are your staff (if applicable) on-board?

Nicole Price March 4, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Thanks for the PDF. It is going to be a useful resource.

Rona March 5, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Will download it immediately. it is encouraging to know that there are people who are really enthusiastic about keeping the online communities alive and ever present for everyone who is interested…

Edward March 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm

It’ll take me a while to digest everything properly, but just wanted to say thanks! :) This is a great resource.

jennifer March 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Just downloaded it but wanted to say that Martin, you are a cutie!

Dave S. March 18, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Martin, all that I can say is bravo. You nailed down the key element of community building: “Form Follows Function”. If you ignore that reality your community will surely suffer a fate much less desirable than success. I wish I wasn’t speaking form a position of experience, but for those doing it now, take time to answer the questions that Martin asks in his download. You will be that much more successful (or prepared for what you are ready to face) by answering them honestly. Thanks

Ken Fink March 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm

That was really a big and good list of questions. As such I do not intend to have a community of my own, but yet, it seems to be a good resource to have a possession of!

Laura April 14, 2009 at 7:03 am

Downloading it now and will be sure to pass it on!

john detitta April 15, 2009 at 1:42 am

Thanks for the PDF. Downloading it and I’ll take some ideas from it.

David July 30, 2009 at 4:18 am

This is the third post I have read on this site about building online communities and I must say the advise here is excellent. I have seen such potential in some online communities only to see them fail pretty quickly. People don’t realise that to build something good you need to be in it for the long haul.

Peter August 9, 2009 at 4:39 am

I find that a lot of communities grow quickly because they get something that is free.Once that has been received it fails.You really need a little something extra to encourage people to stay.Good content is a must

Paul November 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Thanks. I just downloaded this and will read it later tonight.

Sean March 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Just downloaded and will read it why I get the chance. The crying baby makes it hard to do sometimes. :-)

Christina March 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Nice, long list of questions. If you compile all your answers, you’d have a pretty good business plan outline.

John March 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Hi, not sure if my last post went to moderation or what.. but anyway. I was considering a social community for my product website. Not sure if it’s appropriate though. going to far?

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