Here's something entertaining. In a set of planning meetings last week, someone suggested looking into setting up some sort of feedback mechanism for our field sales to "enhance communication" with product marketing. I immediately though of something along the lines of a community or forum - something more than a basic email box that was suggested in the discussion.
The entertaining part? I am not sure where to start. (And I think of myself as somewhat of an expert in this general area.) The company has some of the technical capabilities. But I am not sure the organization is ready to try something like a discussion group or a blog or wiki. So... any bright ideas?
Every day, millions of users log on to their favorite online forums to share advice and discuss everything from their favorite (or least favorite) products to world news and politics. In his new book Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards (AMACOM, 2008), Patrick O’Keefe (who manages seven communities), outlines the basics to get your online forum up and running.
The article is a high-level excerpt from the book. An even higher-level excerpt is the headlines from the article:
- Laying the Groundwork
- Fundamental Decisions
- What Will Your Community Cover?
- Whom Do You Want to Attract?
- What Will the Benefits of Your Community Be?
- How Will You Support the Community Financially?
- What Skills and Characteristics Do You Need to Have?
I like the last section, since my experience with forums large and small make it very clear that the leader / owner / advocate are what make or break the community.