Did you ever walk down a street looking for a good place to eat and
end up in an empty restaurant? No you probably didn’t, why? Nobody will
go and eat in an empty restaurant, because people think there is
something wrong and that there is a reason nobody is eating there. If
you end up in an empty restaurant you either like to take a risk (will
the food be really good, will it be worth my time) or you know the
place and you’ll know what to expect and you’ll know how much value you
will get for your money.
Same goes for your high-end-enterprise-like-software-product you
bought to enable collaboration in your enterprise. If there are no
discussions present and no other activities. Why should people join?
Why should put their effort in it? Some will do it, but many more will
How to overcome this?
It is simple, it is just like the restaurant: start exclusively for
your friends. Only invite the people you know and of who you know they
are willing to invest some time to create value. Let those people
create content, let them invite other people (for example 5 at the
time) and let the community grow member by member. Listen to their
feedback and make changes that they need to have a better experience.
Create enough buzz that people are longing for invites to participate.
After time enough people can participate and you’ll have plenty of
content. This might be the moment to open up for all others that did
not have an invite. They are more likely to participate since there is
already an active community.
So if you want a successful internal community, you should not open
it up for everybody at first, but start with just a small selection of
people. Grow it one member at the time and before you’ll know it people
are stalking you to get an invite for the community.
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