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Community Building: Key Ingredients to Thrive

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and let's face it: we all have food on the brain. A second point to admit: when you start cooking tomorrow, unless you make pumpkin cupcakes and roasted squash every day, you'll most likely need to follow a recipe. What's a recipe made up of? Ingredients.

Well, in cooking up an online community, you should follow the same principle. The right ingredients will largely determine the success of fail of your endeavor.

So, like any great cooking adventure, let's dive right in. Here are the main ingredients for success:

1. Keep it fun. Little details go a long way here. Use interesting, witty names, humor, and throw in a surprise here and there.

2. Remember we're all real people, so keep a tone that doesn't steer away from this!

3. Foster creativity + engagement + learning. When someone has a creative idea, reward it! And when engagement starts to pick up, help seed it so it continues to flourish. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves, where they can learn from others, so make sure the community is always getting larger, more active, and wiser...

4. Keep it simple. Self-explanatory.

5. As a community leader or manager, participate in your own community as much as possible.

6. Whenever given the choice, choose to invest in the members. If there is no interaction, nothing will fix this except going back to the fundamentals of what motivates and inspires members. No technology upgrade can fix this, nor $ thrown at the project. Members first - always!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

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