After class yesterday, I came across this article which closely ties into our discussion of building online communities: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/building-stronger-brands-through-online-communities/
I found the tips for the community to survive quite helpful and interesting. These tips suggested the importance of having a forum that is focused on the consumer’s interests, so that people who have the same interest can exchange ideas. It is also suggested that “codes of behavior” are created in the community – so it is apparent what behaviors are and are not acceptable. It also stressed the importance of credibility and trust among the users and the forum in general. Finally, it said the community should not be dominant by an exclusive few, rather there should be encouragement for all members to communicate.
The article also explained the challenges managers face when creating an online community. These challenges include the difficulty in finding a focus for the community, how to control the community, the size and composition of the community, and the sills of management who run and patrol the community. However, despite these challenges (and in conjunction with our conclusions from class), I definitely think that building online communities is huge advantage for the company and poses many more benefits than risks if instituted properly.