I've watched a lot of communities for the last few years, I agree it's hard to get them started but what about keeping them going? what do you do about members who "take root" and make your policies for you?
I see an awful lot of forums falling into the same trap as before, where members are using their greater knowledge (or post count) to push the views of the forum.. am vexed because the forums I'm referring to I actually respect, not necessarily the members but the owners.. so what happens next?
It's a fine line, in my opinion. The forum has to evolve its own personality, but the owners/operators have to hold it to their vision. Members sometimes have to be reined in if they appear to be squashing the views of members with fewer posts or less knowledge.
The first thing to do is be sure the Terms of Service are in good shape and cover unproductive behavior. Then, I'd try to work with the problem member(s) and see if the can improve their style.
I've seen it work, and I've seen it fail. It's a loss when a high-post-count member has to go, but once in a great while it's necessary.
Msg#: 3625948 posted 1:35 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)
I'd add that this kind of situation is one more example of why it is good to address problems swiftly. Correction or even banning a problematic new member isn't difficult. Let that member hang around for ages, and suddenly the problem gets bigger - that member's buddies will raise a hue & cry, other members will worry that nobody is safe from arbitrary actions, etc.
Of course, sometimes the problems only develop after the member has been around forever.