Community: "That Community Feel"

Nippoo

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Nippoo submitted a new Article:

Community: "That Community Feel"

You’ve all set up your forums, paid for licences, all nice and neat, SEO, all of that. You’ve got loads of guests coming to your site as well, but they don’t seem to be registering or posting even though you have your parents, grandparents, friends, and everybody you know posting. The problem? Too “tight-knit” a community.

So what is the community feel you should establish? What you want is a community that openly accepts the guests and welcomes them.

The main problem is that since everyone knows each other, they have social bonds between each other and they don’t accept newcomers.

You want a community where nobody really knows many peoples’ personality – you just want them to get on well together.

So, how do you actually go round doing this? One solution: Join the Launch Team and get them to post on your site. This will give the current community the feeling that they are not alone, that there are other people there. You jut have to be careful to make sure that two social “groups” do not develop – the “insiders” and the “outsiders”.

If you don’t want all the hassle of this Launch Team, then you can do the same with dummy accounts. You can sign up loads and post in really different styles of writing – you can even go all the way and start spamming with one of them and then ban / warn the user to show the community that it is a proper forum.

I think that the people here at TAZ have got it just right. Nobody really knows each other personally, apart from perhaps The Sandman and a few other people, and this keeps people posting to everyone and not making personal remarks about each other.

At sites such as phpBB.com lots of people know each other’s personalities and I have seen a few personality clashes, mostly between the mods and the users. Here at TAZ you would never expect anything like that to happen – it’s all a really friendly community and I remember when I joined, I was welcomed as a friend here, like as if everybody already knew me.

One last point – never underestimate administrator input. When the community reaches 2000 posts, people may start to look up to you as a “god”. Don’t let it get to your head. Just post as if you were a member and remember rule #1 of building a community: Newcomers are the future, be nice to them. :D

Read more about this article here...
 
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Nippoo

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The "Launch Team", working behind the scenes at TAZ, is a group of people who make posts and "launch" sites, and presumably take the job of the admin creating and posting with dummy accounts.
 

MrLeN

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Nippoo said:
The "Launch Team", working behind the scenes at TAZ, is a group of people who make posts and "launch" sites, and presumably take the job of the admin creating and posting with dummy accounts.

Honestly, this is not good advice. It's a great way to wind up with a split personality though.

All you need to do to get a community to grow is:

1 - Have a supporting website
2 - Have at least a dozen pages of content to start with
3 - Make your site clean, fast loading and search engine friendly
4 - Go join some other forums, chats etc.. make some friends
5 - Make some competitions
6 - Treat all visitors with respect and disallow arguing and flaming
7 - Make sure you never have broken links or a half finished site
8 - Keep adding content over a long period of time
9 - Make forum sections for web pages and web pages for forum sections
10 - Submit to directories

It takes time to build a community. If you're genuine and if you're honest, if you spend time to help others and make new friends during your travels online, your community will slowly grow.

No one ever said building a community is easy. It's not really tough either. It just takes patience and time.

MrLeN
 

Nippoo

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Nope, that's answering the other question: how to get guests.

The article is answering how to make lurkers turn into members and members turn into active members. If you read throughout the article, the Launch Team here is doing a different job. Basically, if you have your friends and family posting, who all know each other, and only them, then it can turn into a sort of closed "social group" and the community will not grow, as members won't feel welcome.

The Launch Team here, by registering and posting, is making this "social group" realize that this is no longer their private chat forum, and they will stop posting "private" threads whose content is understood by the current group but not by the outsiders. Say, for example, Bob at school got a detention for vandalizing school property but doesn't admit it. If the "friends" in question happen to be schoolmates, they may go along and post a poll "Is Bob guilty?" simply because it's like a private XYZ school bulletin board - it is a convenient place to post this since every one of their friends will see it, and since no outsiders are at the forum, nobody will mind! Everyone who posts there will know what they mean, but lurkers will immediately sense that this is a sort of "private" community and will not feel welcome.

The Launch Team will show to the community that this is not "XYZ chat forum" any more but that there are other members and so the posts need to be directed to a more general audience.

Hope I cleared things up a bit. :p
 
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dune

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I think the article makes a good point about not letting your initial group become to clique'y (or at least too personal) - when that happens, new visitors immediately feel like outsiders.
 

Nippoo

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Yeah... I find that happens on many forums where people ask their schoolfriends to "support the community" by posting on there at first... while actually giving it a temporary post boost, it is actually hindering the further growth of the community.

Nippoo
 

rex_b

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Pinning TAZ vs PHPBB.com is not right. We are talking about 10k+ users vs. 2500 user boards.

Not to mention the age of the sites. Of course TAZ won't be cliquesh yet, it's too young.
 

dune

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rex_b said:
Of course TAZ won't be cliquesh yet, it's too young.

But that's the entire point - young boards can fall into this trap because there are so few users.
 

Nippoo

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That's exactly why! If you read the post, you will see that it talks about "At sites such as phpBB.com lots of people know each other’s personalities and I have seen a few personality clashes, mostly between the mods and the users. Here at TAZ you would never expect anything like that to happen – it’s all a really friendly community and I remember when I joined, I was welcomed as a friend here, like as if everybody already knew me."

Basically, don't let your community start forming too many social bonds between each other! That's easier to form with a small community than with a large community... therefore TAZ is doing all the more well!
 

zero

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I disagree. the reason we post is to form social bonds with each other.

It doesnt always mean people will be unwelcoming.

see my forum for an example.
 

rex_b

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Nippoo said:
That's exactly why! If you read the post, you will see that it talks about "At sites such as phpBB.com lots of people know each other’s personalities and I have seen a few personality clashes, mostly between the mods and the users. Here at TAZ you would never expect anything like that to happen – it’s all a really friendly community and I remember when I joined, I was welcomed as a friend here, like as if everybody already knew me."

Basically, don't let your community start forming too many social bonds between each other! That's easier to form with a small community than with a large community... therefore TAZ is doing all the more well!

Once again I say TAZ is too young for that. Look at the post counts. Nobody has really put enough time in to be cliqish.
 
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I have mostly seem many clashes among "Women" centric boards, not so much women but the "clique-y" on more centered topics...not sure if an Admin should jump it at that point or let it continue and have the users debate it out?

Unless serious "Flames" are going on in that case? Just my observation so far.
 

WebForging

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Bravo!

Do you like the community you live in? The community you visit on vacation? The board(s) you belong to? You do if you feel welcome.

Nicely done post!

Regards,
Keith
 
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