Is Your Online Community “Hawaii” or “a local pub”?
Many years ago (like in the early 90s), it was a time when information traveled slower, and far away places seemed much farther away.
It was back then that I went to Hawaii for the first time.
I can recall sitting in a beach side bar with my feet in the sand, drinking a beer at sunset, and then this guy comes on to a makeshift stage with his guitar.
He went through a set that included “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Margaritaville”, “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, and some Bob Marley…etc.
Being young at the time (and consequently having not been to too many bars), I thought “wow, this guy is playing all the perfect songs…this is the most perfect experience…this must be the best experience in Hawaii. EVER.”
Of course, in hindsight that was the SAME experience that people working at bars in Hawaii have lined up for everyone.
Now, I mean no disrespect to the good folks in Hawaii..because if you are 21 and go to Hawaii today you are going to have this experience.
If you’ve been to Hawaii, then you’ve probably had this same experience, and the first time or two you might have really liked it…but is that why you want to keep going back?
Is you online community like this?
There is a tricky balance to maintain a community that is friendly and welcoming to newcomers, and also continues to provide an ongoing and meaningful relationship for your long term members.
Which brings me to your local pub. The local pub has it’s share of regulars, and (as the song goes) is the place “where everybody knows your name”…but it’s also the place where other folks are welcome to drop in and have a drink, or watch the game.
There may be a few unwritten rules in the local pub (such as: don’t wear the rival teams clothing, and don’t put “Brown Eyed Girl on the jukebox), but in general it’s a place where it is easy to fit in quite quickly.