Rules for establishing on-line communities

David Coleman has identified 10 rules for establishing on-line communities, which I quite liked.

Identify community founders/initiators, and explain the reason for starting the community, ongoing roles, and participation.

2. Provide a good reason for people to be in the community.  What are the benefits?

3.Provide a community member directory (with profiles) and an easy wayfor members to contact each other and learn about each other.  The goalis to develop trust among members.

4. Establisha way to handle conflict at the initiation of the community.  Presentthese rules clearly.  Conflicts must be handled quickly and fairly orthey will tear the community apart.

5. Providea hosted or focused chat.  Appoint a facilitator with editorialcapabilities (with editorial policies stated), and appoint discussionowners to drive the discussion to a decision, conclusion or action.

6. Create informal spaces for people to socialize and interact. This also helps to build trust.

7. Create a critical reason for members to be active in the community.
    a. It should be the only place they can get critical information;                
    b. People should receive intrinsic rewards from the community that make it important for them to  be there personally, and;
    c. People enjoy interacting with experts in the community and should beable to learn much that is  helpful to them in their everyday work.

8.Bring newbies up to speed fast (guides, buddies, docents, tours,FAQs).  It is also a good idea to post or e-mail new members the “rulesof engagement” for acceptable behavior in the community.

9.Keep the content fresh and new with critical information and regularevents that keep people coming back to participate in the community.

10. Monitor participation frequency and quality, and reward those who deserve it.

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