Online Community Report: Online Community Basics

Bill Johnston, the new editor at one of the oldest online community-focused newsletters/blogs on the web, The Online Community Report is starting a series on online community basics.

I've been crossing paths with Bill for a couple of months now and he's coming to Seattle this weekend. It looks like we're going to have a lot to talk about. I've been thinking a lot about online community basics and it seems there are a *lot* of organizations that are getting started and looking for good starting points. Kudos to Bill for getting the ball rolling.

His first focus is up-front research and he names three questions to ask (more info on his post):

  1. What does your current community ecosystem look like? What are the current touch points?
  2. What do your customers, prospects or partners need from you? What needs are currently unmet?
  3. How would your organization benefit from hosting a community site? What's the value proposition for stakeholders?

One item that I may add is about identifying champions for the project. Who are the people in the organization that truly believe in its merit and will stand up for it when the hard questions are asked?