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MarkB
12-02-2004, 03:30 PM
Deciding to add community features to your website is one thing. Adding the right ones for your site is another.

Before you rush in and start adding bells and whistles to your site, run through this quick checklist to try and drum up some ideas on what would be best for your community-to-be.

1. How do you want your members to interact?

- do you want them to talk in threaded discussions?
- or, do you want it to be more passive, such as a comments system?

2. How will you control your membersí input?

- will you give them free reign (within reason, of course)?
- or, will you vett every post or contribution thatís made? And will you have time to do this?

3. WHERE on your site will your members interact?

- A users forum?
- user reviews of products?
- user-contributed articles or diaries?

4. What other methods will you offer beyond discussion-based tools?

- Allow users to track their useage of the site? (This could take multiple forms depending on the site)
- Enable users to have different Ďthemesí? (Imagine the fun if you had a general sports site; members could have the site carry their team colours and logos [permission pending ;) ] )
- Offer free webmail to keep your site sticky, and promote it through signatures?

There are hundreds of ways of putting community into your sites. Sit down, away from your computer, and think about it. Think about what would be interesting AND useful. A games arcade may be fun, but it wonít help people use your site more - itíll just give them something else to do there (and yeah, thereís a difference!).

I hope this brief list helps you brainstorm some cool ideas.

(originally posted here (http://whichcommunity.com/archives/2004/12/02/a-community-checklist/))

moonshield
12-02-2004, 05:56 PM
great article, thanks! :)