FOWA day 1 morning session 2

Posted on October 3, 2007

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Derek Powazek, author of my favourite book on communities online and Heather Champ from Flickr are next…

Tips for building and maintaining communities.

Go beyond the legal requirements. Example was for ‘make lemonade’ downtime notice on Flickr. Embraced the downtime as a positive thing and ran a competition to win pro accounts.

Confess! when you fuck up, admit you’ve fucked up. Flickr blog post example – ‘sometimes we suck’.

Don’t keep score. Use scores and leaderboards when you are playing some kind of game. Don’t when you’re not – being ranked in a community scenario can really put ppl off.

Make Real Stuff…producing real world artefacts is a major driver for virtual communities. Print, tshirts, mugs, etc.

Rip that Band Aid – painful changes are better done quickly. Explain them, take feedback, but mostly just do it asap.

Community, Manage Thyself – let users manage their own content. It’s less hard work for you and more satisfying for your community.

Communicate Expectations – ppl don’t read terms of service. Provide them for a legal perspective but also put them into real words. Example: “dont be creepy. You know the guy. Don’t be that guy.”

Don’t Create Supervillains – when you boot ppl from communities you will create an enemies. Instead find other ways of dealing with problem members. Example – one site (remaining nameless) makes the website slower and slower for problem members…

Know Your Audience. Self explanatory, really…

Embrace The Chaos. If you have communities then unexpected things will happen. Let them be imaginative and creative. Be as flexible as you possibly can. Sometimes when people misuse your site it could be that they have a need or an idea which could be embraced rather then reacted to. Example is Friendster > Dogster / Catster…

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