Having a strong leadership is essential for an online community. The role the leadership has is in focusing the agenda and purpose of the community. Another role the leadership has is the maintanence and operation of the web site. They make sure the bills get paid, the software runs, it gets fixed when it crashes, the security is adequate for the community needs, and so forth.
Do you know what online community is? Can you recognize when you're really forming an online community? Let's go over a few examples so you can recognize it when the community is forming, in the hope that you will then be more easily able to manage the process.
In the 1990's when the Web was new, the marketeers noticed the stickiness effect. They wanted sticky visitors, because the longer a visitor stayed on the web site the more likely it was for them to click on an advertisement or take some other action to ring a cash register somewhere.
If you're going to operate a community web site, it carries some costs. These include hosting fees, software purchase (maybe), any advertising you do, and your time to maintain the web site. To have some kind of surety the website will continue, it is best that you find a way to earn an income through the community web site.
It may not seem obvious, but the Internet's higher purpose is to create community. In this section we will explore what community means online, how to create community, how to foster community, and how to earn income through operating a community web site.
Mind Mapping is a specialized form of brainstorming which aims to capture relationships between ideas. Often a set of ideas do not form themselves into a list, but into a nest of relationships. While capturing ideas in brainstorming, you write them on the mind map as boxes with the name of the idea inside the box, and draw lines to other boxes related to the idea.
People tend to overly focus on THE purpose for something, when there can easily be a range of purposes. M. Scott Peck called this overdeterminism.
For everything there are multiple levels of purpose. You have physical purpose, emotional, mental (logic, reasoning), symbolic, and spiritual reasons for doing anything you do. Not all of this is necessarily visible to you. If you've studied any psychology you know about the vast subterranean reaches of the subconscious mind.
After you've spent awhile brainstorming and mind mapping, the ideas for your web site will begin to gel. The first stage to this is to get broad brush strokes, staying with broad categories of topics and articles. Don't get bogged down early with specific articles and diving into writing right away. There's plenty of time for that later, what's important right now is to get your ship headed in the general direction.
Maybe maybe you already have a clear idea on what you want. If so, let me be jealous of you for a moment. Speaking for the rest of us, who may be confused about these things, let this section give you a little guidance.
When beginning a project, it is good to begin at the beginning (so to speak). What is your purpose in developing a web site? It doesn't matter what your purpose is, so long as you clarify for yourself the purpose. The purpose helps you to focus your attention on the goals you have for your web site.
Before beginning to write anything, before setting finger to keyboard, before drawing any images, before thinking up a logo, before registering a domain name, and before anything else, ask yourself