In This Chapter
Putting in the time to keep your community active
Encouraging conversation and ideas
Asking for help diagnosing problems or building interaction
Every online community needs leaders or facilitators to keep the topics lively, upbeat, and on topic. Playing “mom” can be the hardest job in any community, and sometimes, the rewards come slowly. Don't let this discourage you, though. Encouraging growth in any community requires a certain level of patience, persistence, and attention — but when it works, it really works.
This chapter offers a few simple tricks for developing your blog from your soapbox into a real community, with true interaction between you and your readers, and among the readers themselves.
If you're lucky, in the process of getting people to read and comment on your posts and on each other's comments, you'll even discover how to convert readers into community evangelists who will take the community even further.
Get writing (or podcasting, or posting photos, or whatever it is you're doing on your blog)! If you're writing actively in your blog, do the same thing in the comments you get on your posts by joining the conversations that start within the comments.
Establish a regular schedule for maintaining your blog; this really helps readers to know what to expect and when. A regular schedule can even build some anticipation and excitement. Be open to ideas, provide a welcoming environment, and keep yourself on topic ...