We define a community as “regular interaction among members who are united by a common interest (or experience) that allows for relationships to be formed”.
While almost every community evolves along a lifecycle, every community is indeed unique, with distinct goals, member characteristics and needs, and purpose. All design choices (for technical or social architecture) must be driven by purpose, so community purpose is paramount.
Successful and sustainable communities have focused, well-defined purposes that are directly tied to the sponsoring organisation’s mission. Purposes should be defined in terms of the benefits to the community’s stakeholders and the specific needs that the community will be organised to meet. This is what makes public communities like Facebook differ from Business communities.
Communities of practice are dynamic social structures that require “cultivation” so that they can emerge and grow. Organisations can sponsor communities, and through a series of steps, individuals can design a community environment, foster the formalisation of the community, and plan activities to help grow and sustain the community.
Ultimately, the members of the community will define and sustain it over time.
KINSHIP have identified the key components of world-class communities and have shared them below.
The 9 Components of World-Class Communities:
- Identifiable business objectives;
- An emphasis on being personal;
- A culture of belonging;
- Major source of relevant content;
- Leverages the wisdom of the crowd;
- Influential members are highlighted;
- Reward with pixels;
- Establish and enforce guidelines;
- Membership has its privilege.