Some nice comments from Guy Kawasaki on community building — The Art of Creating a Community. It’s tough to argue with any of his eight points, although you could certainly add a variety of things based on your personal experiences with different communities. Robert Scoble feels that Guy left out the most important point — to hang out with the community — but I think that’s implied throughout Guy’s post. My favorite point is this: “Create something worth building a community around.” That’s by far the most important. Which is probably why it’s first on Guy’s list.
Number three is pretty important, too — “Assign one person the task of building a community.” Obviously I’d see that one as important, but I’d change the emphasis slightly. Depending on the size of the community in which you participate, I’d suggest that the task of community building is actually distributed throughout the organization and touches everyone involved. In other words, every interaction is a community-building opportunity and everyone is responsible for that. Assigning that function to just one person isn’t realistic because community building isn’t a function — it’s a way of behaving and working and being. That’s why community building isn’t difficult. It’s just different. I get Guy’s intention, though, and I certainly agree.