Building an Online Community - Part 1

A Note of Apology

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Thank you for your patience and for continuing to read my little blue blog.

Last Friday, we talked about Community as the currency of the Internet. All successful businesses have built a community of loyal users around them. But, where do you really start? Building a community as large as Facebook's or YouTube's seems like a daunting, herculean task. And, you're right. It's not easy to build a community as large as Facebook's. But, it's not that difficult either if you are smart about your approaches and decisions.

There are three parts to building an online community (Before, During and After).
  • Prepare for your growth and sustainability before you launch your community.
  • Building the Community - What can you do to get your users involved and have them become a part of the community?
  • Sustaining a growing community - After you build a sizable community, how do you sustain it's growth?
Creating a Plan for Growth and Sustainability

Building a community online is very similar to building a business. When you are building the business, the first thing you need to do is write a business plan. Why? Because a business plan becomes your guiding source. A good business plan helps you survive the rough storms you will encounter while building the business.

Writing a plan for building an online community involves answering questions like:
  • What is your purpose? Why do you want to build a community?
  • How do you want people to remember your community?
  • Who are you creating the content for? What does your target audience look like?
  • Where is your target audience coming from?
  • What form will your content be in?
  • What is your content schedule?
  • How can your audience become a part of the community?
  • How will you measure your community's growth?
  • At what level will you call your community a success?
These are some basic questions you need to answer before you launch an online community. It will help you grow your community at a much faster rate compared to those who don't plan and prepare.

Remember, prior preperation prevents poor performance.

Because this is such a large topic, I will be breaking it down into pieces and cover it on a weekly basis. Next Friday, let's take a in-depth look at the above questions. Meanwhile, if you have other ideas or suggestions I can add to this list, feel free to email me at or post it as a comment below.

Thank you for reading.

Like they say in Hindi,
Phir Milenge.

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