Starting a Community

youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
edited December 2006 in Selecting a Business
Hey there! I`ve been planning to create this community website similar to this website we`re in, and one of the problems I`ve encountered is "How do I get knowledgeable people into the community?"I personally find it easier to get people who are interested in starting a business to join rather than people who already have experience with business.Help please
«1

Comments

  • onlineeateronlineeater Posts: 16subscriber
    Just curious why would people want to leave this community to go to your community. If you can answer that question then you have your answer. I used to spend a lot of time at the Rich Dad forum on www.richdad.com. I found this place to be better for my needs so I recently switched. There was too much spam and very few experienced people that could help me at Rich Dad. Mostly new people with the same questions over and over. It became less valuable. When I found this place I saw how active the owners of the site were and all the tools offered it was a no brainer to invest my time here. In my opinion unless you can offer more than what is available in this community you are going to have a hard time finding good people willing to start something from scratch when they already have over here.I have worked on many ideas that did not work even though I wanted them too. Starting a community for the sake of starting one does not make sense unless you create a good reason for people to be there. Good Luck,John
    onlineeater2006-11-29 11:22:9
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
    Hahaha I`m not asking anyone to leave this community. The one I`m creating is localized hence different.I have my reasons for creating a community website, and I have bounced this idea off people who fit my consumer profile and they have ALL reacted positively..But it was under the assumption that there will be experienced people participating in the forums who can help them.That`s why I need to know how I can attract experienced and knowledgeable people to help & participate in my forums.Any suggestions?
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
    Thanks for the reply but I don`t get it. All I`m asking is how do I get knowledgeable people into my forums.I think you`ve got me all wrong. I AM NOT starting a community website for profits. I may be young but I know enough to understand that a profit-centered business earns LESS precisely because they tend to focus on how to earn money rather than to create value for their consumers.I am starting this website precisely because I understand and have researched my (future) consumers, and also because I want to help. This is not a hit-and-miss  or a get-rich-quick thing.So please don`t compare me to those scammers who don`t know anything about creating value and customer satisfaction. How
    can I help and offer value and satisfaction to my users if there`s
    little to no experienced people to help them in my forums right? That`s why I`m asking how to get them in. 
  • onlineeateronlineeater Posts: 16subscriber
    That is where I think you are missing the boat on the advice offered. You ask how do you get people to your forum? Offer something of value that they can`t get in other forums. Even though forums are free they are actually expensive. They cost people their most important asset...which is time. If I am going to invest my time in a new community it should offer me something of value. That is why I switched from Rich Dad to StartUp Nation. With the involvement of the principles, the podcasts, it has attracted a higher level of business owner which generates a much better online discussion. Based upon your request it is hard for anyone to say you need to to A, B, and C since you were vague about your community and what you are trying to develop. 
  • KatherineKatherine Posts: 2subscriber
    One of my projects involves moderating and providing content for an online community of tech enthusiasts...and there are a few ways we let people with similar interests know we exist: (1) we put the forum URL in the email sig line; (2) we participate actively in other forums; (3) when we find someone with an expertise we think our members would enjoy, I email them, tell them about our community, and ask whether they`d be interested in being interviewed for the group. That provides more interest for existing members, invites the new person in for a look around, and perhaps if they enjoy the experience they will hang out with us and share what they know.
    [On a technical note, do you have your forum software? I was just checking out Community Server a few days ago--it`s free for individual use (but you have to purchase a license if you want to make a business out of it).]
  • CalgaryPixCalgaryPix Posts: 2subscriber
    Well, first thing I`d do if creating your portal/site would be to hang out where the people you want hang out. For professionals, there must be a local chamber of commerce and other business networking groups. Create an "elevator pitch" aimed at the people you want reflecting how they can contribute to the community at large, and that while you discourage advertising their own business in a post, they can certainly include that information in their own sig lines on the forums. This gives them both exposure for free and "credibility" as local experts. You might also want to draft a simple letter inviting some who don`t go to those groups to join up.Don`t forget to send releases to the local media about what you`re doing.Neil
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
    I want to offer value, and that`s why I need suggestions on where and how to find knowledgeable people.Katherine, thanks for your advice! I was thinking about Community Server, but then I don`t want to shell out as long as there are cheaper (or free) alternatives, hence I am using Joomla instead. But is Joomla advisable or not? Neil, thanks! Sounds like that takes up a lot of time doesn`t it? But then patience is key right? Hahaha..
    youdontknowme2006-11-30 12:22:11
  • CalgaryPixCalgaryPix Posts: 2subscriber
    I`d say if you were building a tech portal, or gaming, or anything else where people are really computer oriented you could do it all online. For people like your professionals, they generally don`t spend as much time online so its harder to reach them that way. Some are very active on the net, but not the majority of the professionals I`ve met. And when they are online, its usually directly to eBay, technical/professional forums in their industry, or sites oriented to their hobby`s, etc. So, to reach them, go where they are. It`ll take less time to do that than try and find each one in their "cyber world."And if you can get some news coverage, maybe they`ll come to your site themselves.
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
    I understand that to create a thriving community such as this one we are in, you, as the administrator, have to be active and helpful yourself. You also need to enforce rules and guidelines to ensure that your community members have healthy relationships with each other. Also, you have to offer them value and make them feel that they are investing their time in something worthwhile, such as the way I feel here at SUN.com.To offer them value and the feeling that their time will not be wasted, there has to be someone in the community who can answer their questions and provide solutions for them, such as you guys. But the point I`m driving at here is how do I reach those knowledgeable people? I alone cannot handle and answer every inquiry my members have, hence a few willing and knowledgeable members could help big-time in creating value for my members.I have no clue whatsoever as to how I can reach those knowledgeable people.And to clarify, the community website I`m creating is localized and is similar to SUN.Thanks!
  • onlineeateronlineeater Posts: 16subscriber
    I friend of mine Paul Strauss created one in Chicago called www.wcrt.org. The advantage of a local group is you can meet face to face on a monthly basis. To me that could be your the value you can offer that is difficult to do here. Paul has a great model which is targeted at Real Estate investors. I would visit his site and try to get a hold of him. He may be able to give you some help.John
    onlineeater2006-12-1 8:28:22
  • KatherineKatherine Posts: 2subscriber
    > But is Joomla advisable or not? <
    I`d never heard of Joomla before, but I checked it out and it looks cool. I`d be curious to hear what you think of it as you begin building your community. I`m not ready to do anything like this yet, but down the road... k
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber


    It`s not so much what is missing in the online world, but rather what`s missing here in my local environment or country.I study Entrepreneurial Management and I, along with my friends, have been dying to start our own businesses, but the problem is we cannot balance creating a network and our academics thus making it hard for us to start. We can`t go out and search for people, like attending trade shows and the like. So I thought, "Hey, why don`t I create a solution to this problem?".You see, unlike in the USA, we do not have an organization helping small business, like the SBA (did I get that right?). There is no one to guide the local aspiring entrepreneurs here. And if by some remote chance there is, it is POORLY advertised because if it wasn`t we would have known about it, after all we are their target market.So I thought I`d create a service to bring the aspiring entrepreneurs and the people they need/have to talk to together as well as any resources they need, kinda like SUN with a little extra.I can`t explain it any more clearly now, I`m a bit off today...I think my brain died a few moments ago..youdontknowme2006-12-2 11:32:38
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
    Actually, my friends do not share the same vision as I do. They only agree that it can work and is interesting & helpful, but they do not care so much as to dedicate their time into developing this idea of mine. So I`m kind of alone here.Anyway, I was thinking about starting a discussion group of sorts but one of the problems I`ve encountered is that no one thinks the same way I do, for my age anyway. Yeah, the people proximate to me are interested in business but they are not that into it yet, not enough to actually participate fully in a head-on business discussion. I could talk to the faculty or the mentors in my university, but they are busy most of the time and are available only when I`m unavailable.Guess I`m gonna have to work harder huh? Hahaha..
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
    Well the problem is that they just aren`t that interested in talking about serious (in this case business) topics. I`m kind of the odd one `cause I think differently, plus I think I matured faster than them and perhaps even faster than my older brother!With regards to the discussion group, that`s going to take longer `cause I`m going to have to find like-minded people which is kind of hard to come by here since everyone around me is still into the "we`re only young once" phase in their lives and thus prefer to avoid the aforesaid type of topics.As for the older and more experienced people, they tend to be busier and are often unavailable so I can`t rely on them too much..
  • youdontknowmeyoudontknowme Posts: 6subscriber
    All right, thanks for everyone`s suggestions! But now I have a new problem.Let`s say I do get the website up and running and people flock to it. How do I assure my members that their ideas will not be stolen from them?As we all know, a lot of people are reluctant to post their ideas and let the whole world see it even before he/she can act on it. No one wants their idea stolen, especially start-ups.So how can I prevent this?P.S. Sorry for the late post, I`ve been busy lately `cause I have this project that I`m managing.
    youdontknowme2006-12-7 7:18:53
Sign In or Register to comment.