Biggest Online Community Killer

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.

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Brett de Boisserre

Great points, especially about respecting others. I participate in the community to network, learn from others, and pick up information that I didn’t think of. I can get a pat on the back anywhere.

Terrence (Terry) Hill

Good points – Now I know why I keep coming back to GovLoop. It also helps to have a healthy Twitter feed that reminds your community that you exist (except I could do without all the job posts). Also, cross-media postings using other media like LinkedIn also helps to drive traffic/interest.


Thanks Terry – good point about job posts. Actually in the middle of revamping our job section (sneak preview at which should help….would love any feedback

Andrew Krzmarzick

Hey Terry – Interesting note on the jobs is that it really is a response to community interest. It’s one of our most clicked pieces of content! As an HR person, how can we make it less onerous to folks like you who aren’t interested in it?

Jason Hibbets

# 3. Drive the community around something

+1 mission-based communities are awesome. I found this out with CityCamp Raleigh.