Thomas Hawk predicts the death of Flickr in Flickr is Dead. I don’t know if Flickr lives or dies in the face of Facebook and Google+ but in his post Hawk makes some good points about building communities (copyright, licensing, and naming issues on social networks notwithstanding). Google+ not only has a rapid development and release model but they also have community managers and engineers down in the community visible to everyone both online and at events. They are known by name and they meet face to face. This is an important point for companies to get if they sponsor projects that host communities: you have to actually participate in the community you’re building. You can’t do it from behind a corporate firewall because over time you’ll lose touch with the community and things will rot without you even knowing it until it’s too late. The point is to grow and that takes direct involvement. Many companies want to host communities and leverage communities for obvious reasons but relatively few understand what’s involved. The concepts are easy. Some tips here.