The Most Common Mistakes in Online Community Development

Developing your online community takes a lot of hard work. You’ll make mistakes and learn lessons, but hopefully have a blast bringing it all together and watching it grow. But to help you avoid a few common stumbling blocks, we’ve put together this quick-fire list of mistakes and pitfalls we’ve seen through years of building successful online communities. We hope it helps!

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Product Communities Versus Support Communities—What’s the Difference?

At first glance, it’s natural to believe that there is no difference between support and product communities—after all, aren’t all communities built around product discussions and supporting members? The distinction is a subtle one: while service communities are about creating a great place to be; product communities are more about creating a great resource for members.

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How User-Generated Content Can Help Grow Your Community

Handled correctly, user-generated content is one of the holy grails of online communities. With the community manager putting out fires almost 24-7, imagine having your extremely qualified, expert members creating posts and content on their own, and generating huge engagement in the process? The strategy can be hugely powerful and has worked for major brands across the world.

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Understanding the “90-9-1″ Rule and How to Optimise It

It is generally accepted that there are 3 categories of users within online communities: 

  1. The 1%—Extremely active users who contribute the vast majority of content, answers, and activity. 
  2. The 9%—All other casual or occasional contributors. 
  3. The 90%—The ‘lurkers’ who only consume content (or don’t log in at all) and never contribute directly. 

And while we’ve made the positive case for a fourth group called active lurkers, we’ve found this ratio to be broadly correct across internal and external, large and small communities. In this article we’re going to examine what these categories of users actually mean in terms of impact, as well as how to optimise the ratio for maximum participation, value generation, and growth. 

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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Closed Online Communities

On the surface, having a closed online community might seem the obvious route. You get to vet and filter new members and don’t have to deal with trolls and Karens slamming your content every day. However, there are serious risks associated with growth and sustainability of closed groups, so we encourage you to weigh up the pros and cons before making your decision. 

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Website Migration To A New Server

If you want to provide the best possible website experience for your users in a world of fluctuating technology, you always need to be one step ahead of it. Things in web development and its environment change so fast, it seems like modern technology of today can easily become obsolete next year, or even next month. And that is normal, we have learned to live with it, so we should update our software when necessary. There is still one area where software update can actually cause anxiety, even to the most experienced website administrators, and that is the server migration. Technically it’d be also hardware migration, but I’ll discuss the software aspect of it. Because there are so many moving parts and steps that you need to take during the process, server migration is often seen as something hard to comprehend, and you’ll often see people actually being unwilling, practically scared to do it.

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