Monday, November 15, 2010

When building communities, don't fall into the tool trap.

Chris Grams has an excellent post reminding us to avoid the tool trap when forming a community. That advice is so obvious yet so rarely practiced. Building communities is hard work and the temptation to experiment with technology is a distraction — a distraction so strong that it can obscure the fact that the community has no reason to exist. No matter what platform, the community will inevitably fail if it doesn't have the necessary ingredients: people with passion and a common set of interests and goals.

Technology can be an enabler but it can never be a driver. A robust community will survive with bad technology. I would say to intentionally use bad tools when you start a community. This approach will cause an unviable community to fail faster and save unnecessary investment. If a community is starting to grow despite bad tools, then you know you really have something worth investing in. By the way, if anyone wants to join my Julio Lugo fan club, fax me your fax number.