Ever wondered what the biggest online community killer is? I've been looking at communities lately of all shapes and sizes. Is it mean bloggers? Spam? Too controversial?
Answer: Not Interesting
So...how do you keep things interesting?
5 Ways to Make Your Community Interesting
1. Invite people passionate about your subject. I get kicks talking about government, food, and running and will enthusiastically contribute, making the community more lively. You need fired up instigators, so go find your people.
2. Don't hide or delete controversial posts. We had a post on GovLoop during our Government Doesn't Suck Rally that on the surface was controversial, but presented a rational personal opinion and generated solid discussion. Remember, as long as the discussion is respectful to everyone, there is nothing wrong with things getting a bit hot.
3. Drive the community around something people can rally about: either a cause they are working towards, or a geographic commonality.
4. As a community manager keep discussions, blog posts, and new additions fresh and interesting. Don't let things get stale.
5. Engage people directly so they feel personally invested in the community. Feature their posts, discussions, mention them in a newsletter, celebrate a recent success of theirs. When people see their name in lights, things look a lot more interesting.