What Happens When People Don’t Like The Online Community?

You’ve gone through the process of research and development. There’s a strategy in place and content planned for the next two months. But there’s a problem.

After a month, the community is mostly quiet. The only posting seems to be your own. Panic sets in.

Why don’t people like your online community?

Before jumping to a wrong (and often expensive) conclusion that the community’s platform is missing something, consider whether there’s something missing on your end.

Online community consultant Richard Millington wrote about that today in a post on his blog. He said:

It’s rarely the platform. It’s more likely to be something the community manager is or isn’t doing.

If you’re wondering why your community is struggling, it’s often best to start with the data (what are your members doing/not doing?) and a 1-week diary of the community manager (what is the community manager doing?).

Before you start pointing fingers or pricing out vendors for new features for a community no-one is currently using, stop and think about the basic function of the community.

Are the interests of the core user base being served by the community in its current form?

Ask yourself and ask others, preferably a few people who would fit into that core user base. Their answers may surprise you.