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On Building Communities

We are big Teligent users at Dell and have invested a great deal in building our communities. Was interesting to see this synopsis of a whitepaper authored by Teligent pop-up on Mashable. Lots of good points and learnings – many which we have institutionalizes. These two are critical:

  • Highlight Influential Members: Influential members in a community have a direct impact on the behavior of other users in the community. By engaging and highlighting your biggest fans, you’ll empower them to help shape and grow your community.

  • Reward Members in Pixels, Not Pennies: If Foursquare has taught us anything, it’s that people will do a lot for a little digital recognition. Making a leader board, developing badges, or another effort to reward participation with recognition in the community will be an important component of a world-class community.

One point implied in their paper but not called out explicitly is that for great online communities to thrive the proprietor, in our case – Dell, has to recognize that it isn’t their community. The community belongs to the members. At best you get to curate content and be a great custodian.

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