Monday, 4 November 2013

WIIIFM and making allowances

Good enough ?!?!

The KIN Community of Practice Benchmarking survey empirically confirmed a while back what we already had a hunch about - that your choice of technology is far less important than having a clear purpose and leadership for your online community.

Michael Norton of the LGA has just posted an interesting item on the LGA Knowledge Hub that illustrates that you can get away with all sorts of poor design, if the purpose is clear and users know they are getting something out of it for themselves. They make allowances, whereas they would be moaning and abandon a similar platform that didn't meet their community's needs.

Here is Michael's post:

"I've seen roll outs of different technology including SharePoint , Microsoft Office , CRM, Clarity Project Management etc, etc.   And you always hear the same comments, I don't like it, it's clunky, it’s the wrong colour, it makes my eye hurt (I made the last one up) etc, etc.  

So how do some online communities survive and thrive when the tech they use is sometimes odd, old and clunky.  My only explanation is the purpose and the WIIFM.  Otherwise known as COMMUNITY

Take sites such as Money Saving Expert and Golf GTI Forum.  They are a bit messy and on first look hard to understand.  I have to admit MSE is so much better now.  But what they do have is a strong sense of community, a clear purpose of what it is and what it can do.

So there are examples that show community beats technology.

All you need to ask yourself is, do you have a compelling purpose for your community, that no matter what barriers technology, people or otherwise that get thrown in the way that the community survives and thrives".

(Photo credit: AUSTIN_O)
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