Woot does a great job with its online community.
Not only does the community content appear prominently on the homepage, the site highlights what it considers ‘quality posts’ – only posts it deems to be useful, interesting or otherwise valuable to the community make it to the homepage.
Furthermore, when you delve into a product discussion thread, things look a little different. Before you even see the discussion thread, you see the quality posts.
If you scroll down further, you get to the actual discussion thread. In a typical forum you’ll see a member’s username, title, avatar, location and post count. Woot does things differently. The post count is very different to what you’d expect. We only see ‘quality posts’ tallied under the username. Only when you hover over the shapes under each username do you see more of the ‘traditional’ statistics.
Woot does a great job at giving its community the respect it deserves. They’re proving how much value they place in their community by giving it pride of place on the homepage. They’re also ensuring they recognize quality over quantity – a community culture that should always be encouraged, but is still relatively rare.
Is your community recognizing (and rewarding) quality or quantity? The former is better than the latter.
UPDATE – December 7, 2011
Yesterday, Woot had a 2012 calendar for sale. Each month features a member of the Woot community and brings attention to significant dates in Woot history. What a fantastic way of recognizing community members and building a community history and culture by drawing attention to milestones. This kind of recognition also gives other members motivation to ‘up their game’ for a chance to be featured in the calendar for 2013.
Woot is a leading example of community building in an ecommerce environment done right.