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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kapiti in New Zealand
    Posts
    4,031

    Default How online communities work

    Hello all,

    I would be interested in our communities thoughts on where we stand in the life cycle of a community forum.

    Below is a nice overview of the stages of an online forum. Where do you think we are?

    I personally can see some of the points made below coming through on our on forum - what about you?


    So what are the stages of a net community?

    Stage 1: Arrival of the core group. When a net community starts, it will attract a small group of regulars. This number is usually fairly specific -- under 30 people who participate heavily. Since the new site has little traffic, this group dominates the site.

    Stage 2: Community Expansion. The website begins to grow exponentially towards its eventual "maximum size". So lots of new people arrive. The regulars, typically friendly and social able, welcome these new people to the community. Some of the regulars try to hint that these newcomers need to respect the existing pecking order and other unwritten rules that the regulars have established.

    Stage 3: Melodrama. Some of the regulars, now using terms like "Old guard" or "Founders" or "Old timers" or other terms to convey that they've been part of the community for longer than others, begin to write about the lack of manners, civility, decency, etc. of many of the newcomers. Various melodramatic posts/articles are written about how everything is falling apart.

    Stage 4: Exodus. Some of the "old guard" now begin to leave in a huff. This usually includes so long winded, melodramatic post talking about how the community has gone to hell in the hand basket and how they predict that other people (like themselves) will soon leave as well. The implication being that the original regulars are more equal than newcomers and the loss of their presence will doom the site.

    Stage 5: Stabilization. The "old guard" that remains are the ones who can adapt to the community's growth and maturity. They are the ones who recognize that they are one member amongst many. The community will have lots of activity and interest but a lot less melodrama at this point. Occasionally, an "old timer" will drop in and bemoan how much nicer things were in the "old days" when the community had a "specific character". The most popular users at this point will form a new set of regulars.

    Communities tend to grow in a quasi-step ladder type growth curve. So this 5 stage cycle will repeat itself several times until the community reaches its maximum growth (based on the resources of the site, subject matter, marketing, whatever).
    Source-> http://forums.wincustomize.com/index...d=67&aid=20782

    Cheers

    Marc
    Free business resources - www.BusinessBlogsHub.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Auckland / Cappadocia, Turkey
    Posts
    2,312

    Default

    GOsh, that's interesting, isn't it!

    I would say we're somewhere at the end of Stage 3 moving into Stage 4..??
    Last edited by BusyLizzy; 22-05-2007 at 11:00 PM.
    Lisa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    auckland New Zealand
    Posts
    5,236

    Default

    I would have thought more like Phase 2.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    493

    Default Stage 4

    My 2 cents worth.

    Regards,
    *poormastery*

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    3,286

    Default

    I would say just arrived at 5.

    However, I came on board late so there may have been a completed cycle in the pre 2005/06 summer.

    I can relate to the idea that the old guard think they are 'better' than the others, having seen it elsewhere, but I have not really seen it here, except perhaps in some 'in' jokes and references. This is to the site's crdit.
    I do see a levelling out in some areas because there are fewer and fewer topics to discuss afresh. This will also lead to a lot of silly squabbles and off topic ramblings, because the posters are bored and have nothing better to occupy their minds.

    Perhaps a new injection is needed, but that's not my decision, nor am I suggesting what that injection should be.

    xris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,638

    Thumbs up Completing Round 2

    IMHO we are on round 2 of the cycle and at the beginning of stage 5.

    We have been in operation nearly 4 years so maybe it's a 20 month cycle on PropertyTalk.com.

    We ended the first round in early 2005 after a couple of 'old guard' (regular well respected posters) went off line - and soon after some newbies joined that are now the new 'old guard' - umm you are in this lot Dean - you came online in 2005.

    Even more interesting in stage 4 there is the false exodus of the 'old guard' - where they post they are leaving...but they don't leave - instead they visit the site as often as they did before however now they are 'lurkers' (technical term) basically they watch the workings of the community but they don't post.....under their original username.

    I wonder how many cycles we will complete.....

    Cheers,


    Donna
    PropertyTalk Blog - property articles

    BusinessBlogs - the best business articles are found here



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    5,086

    Default

    I think between melodrama and exodus - and possibly only the first time around.

    The departure of previous 'honoured' guests was not so much because the forums evolved in a way that they didn't like, but more that life, for them, got in the way, as they drifted off in directions other than property. There were some short-lived members who never really got on in the community, so never reached "old guard" status.

    It is only recently that some experienced members have left "in a huff" in the way described above.

    Further, I think that the future for PT is bright, so long as the community can continue to offer help, advice, encouragement, fantastic deals and be as ready to accept criticism as they (we) are to dish it out.

    cube
    DFTBA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Auckland / Cappadocia, Turkey
    Posts
    2,312

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cube View Post
    Further, I think that the future for PT is bright, so long as the community can continue to offer help, advice, encouragement, fantastic deals and be as ready to accept criticism as they (we) are to dish it out.

    cube
    Well said, Cube!
    Lisa

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kapiti
    Posts
    625

    Default

    Good to see Marc has a balanced view of recent events. I'd say early stage five, the mods have a birds-eye seat of course. Gives me a laugh to see apparently reasoned folk biff their toys out of the cot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    493

    Default Count?

    Out of interest, I was wondering how the count on this forum works. Every day, it seems to say that the most users were online here. For example:

    "Most users ever online was 320, Today at 09:26 AM."

    Does this just mean the most users online in the last 24 hours? Recently, a big gang of Richmastery followers left this forum, so I assume the user numbers are way down at the moment? However, there do seem to be quite a few new posters here recently...

    By the way, is it just me, or has this forum really changed in the past few months?

    Regards,
    *poormastery*
    Last edited by poormastery; 06-06-2007 at 09:23 PM.


 

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