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Building Community: Lessons from door64.com

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1. Building Community: Lessons from door64.com Matt Genovese door64.com brainshowerconsulting.com August 15 th , 2009 2. What is door64.com? <ul><li>Community…
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  • 1. Building Community: Lessons from door64.com Matt Genovese door64.com brainshowerconsulting.com August 15 th , 2009
  • 2. What is door64.com? <ul><li>Community of 6000+ technology professionals in Austin & Central Texas </li></ul><ul><li>Grew virally through word-of-mouth. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No marketing budget. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Me: Electrical/Computer engineer, hardware/software consultant, lover of Drupal and all things chocolate. </li></ul>
  • 3. Start with a problem… <ul><li>Masters program @ University of Texas </li></ul><ul><li>There must be a better way… </li></ul><ul><li>Started door64 version 1 in 2006, which not many people know about. </li></ul><ul><li>… because it sucked. </li></ul>
  • 4. What went wrong… <ul><li>Too much assuming, too little research or reflection. </li></ul><ul><li>Too many website features too soon. </li></ul><ul><li>Assumed everyone could grasp my vision. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If you build it, they will come.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vision was not focused. </li></ul><ul><li>I built a website, not a community. </li></ul>
  • 5. 2007-Present: What worked… Topics 1. Process: Flywheel 2. Communication: Evangelize 3. Content: Me  UGC 4. Technology: CMS (Drupal)
  • 6. Process: Flywheel <ul><li>Mental model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beginning: slow, much effort to make progress. Expect it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incremental effort to increase momentum. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Momentum eventually self-sustains and attracts new people. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value is the attractor. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>door64 model: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Producers = recruiters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumers = job hunters </li></ul></ul>Momentum Producers Consumers Members Weeee! Value Value Value Social Momentum: p = mv m = mass of member base v = amount of interaction
  • 7. Process: Sustaining momentum <ul><li>Keeping it moving… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Event calendar (me) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal welcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Face to face events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused member base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the content poster, information is one-to-many </li></ul></ul>Job givers Job seekers Members Weeee! F2F Events Newsletters Weeee! Happy hours Value Value Value Momentum
  • 8. Communication: Evangelize <ul><li>Communicating vision through email was difficult. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Face to face when possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Honing the message through conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Converts” evangelized for me </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Welcome emails to all new members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give the vision, features, and what to do next. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal in every way </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Newsletters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reminder to return, and item to forward. </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Content: Me  UGC <ul><li>Never my intention to supply all content on the site. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beginning: I seeded much of the content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now: No seeding required. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Incentivize members to post ( value ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>door64: (events, jobs) + newsletter + twitter feed = value. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Happy hours boost online community activity. </li></ul></ul>
  • 10. Technology: CMS (Drupal) <ul><li>Many free options available for community infrastructure. </li></ul><ul><li>door64: Drupal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid code base and active development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plethora of add-on modules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well thought-out and extensible data model increases usefulness of modules. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drupal-specific developers available. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantage: Learning curve, being left behind in versions. </li></ul></ul>
  • 11. Contact <ul><li>Matt Genovese </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: brainshowerconsulting.com </li></ul><ul><li>Email: matt@brainshowerconsulting.com </li></ul>
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