Creating a Community From Scratch

It doesn’t matter who we are, we all want the same thing. If we’re documentary filmmakers or marketing professionals, if we’re experience designers or PR managers at BigCorp. What we really really want is to create something that builds a community.

This community should, in an ideal world, also have a number of ideal traits – it should be fiercely loyal to whatever it is we’ve created that the community has been built around. It should be pretty blind to obvious faults with whatever it is we’re peddling to them (pretty unlikely, I concur). And it should be a community that both fosters and regulates itself, allowing us to spend a minimum of effort and funds maintaining it.

Now, the world we’re living in is, last time I looked, not quite ideal. It is quite possible that our community – should we manage to induce it’s creation and fan its’ flames until it is self-sufficient – would become an uncontrollable beast. That’s what I was touching on in my last post – about the importance of trusting your audience, as scary as it may seem.

But how do we create this community? Luckily, there’s a formula for that. See, I believe we can grow a community from anything we come up with. It’s just a matter of adding up enough to get over the threshold. Enough of what you ask? That’s where the formula comes in:

FORMULA

 

If a project can be allocated enough time, enough currency and enough luck, it will succeed in creating a vibrant community. It’s the total amount that counts, so too little time can be offset with currency or luck, and vice versa. Currency is the multi-variable in the equation; it can be something as simple as money, or something less tangible like status of collaborators, star power of advocates or key players, the quality of the concept, project or content itself, the attraction power of the overall experience, the projects ability to tap into current trends, or something else.

Now, mind, even if all of these, and luck as well, were at a low, it could still be offset by investing time. On the other hand, investing such a considerable amount of time would be sure to raise the currency of the project as well, which would make it even more likely to succeed.

If you analyze your project, do you believe its’ different parts add up? And if they don’t, where can you add something to the equation?

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