Four Smart Ways to Run Online Communities Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Of the many ideas that have entered the world of business through the internet, few people proved more powerful than the "online community" where a group of people involved in the network, many-to-many interactions. The authors examined 15 online communities to determine how best to establish and maintain such communities. They have developed a framework that defines the three types of activities critical to the success of every online community: members of the development, asset management, and community. The continuous development of member requires to grow community and to replace members who leave. Community must be clearly defined goals and members of the demographic for marketing effectively. Acquisition and retention of members is best achieved through a variety of means. Community assets include maintenance, unions and infrastructure. Managers need to create member profiles and specific sub-themes, the collection and dissemination of useful knowledge, and create processes that promote participation. Communities should develop over time in response to changing needs of its members. Community relations shall establish guidelines for the community members and moderators. Explicit rules help police the community members themselves and send the moderators when intervention is required. The moderator must be an experienced and well-prepared. The authors illustrate these lessons in the case study of four types of online communities. "Hide
by Ruth L. Williams, Joseph Cothrel Source: MIT Sloan Management Review 13 pages. Publication Date: July 1, 2000. Prod. #: SMR051-PDF-ENG

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