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Facebook Cookbook by Jay Goldman

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Community Gardening

Will Pate (see his bio in Contributors)

Problem

I’m an experienced developer, but now I want to build a community around my application.

Solution

Interact with your users every way you can. Listen, respond quickly, and always be friendly.

Think of a community like it’s a party, and you’re the host. You have to set the table, welcome the guests as they arrive, help them with anything they need, and do it all with a smile.

Discussion

Before you launch your application, create a short list of questions you would like to ask your users. “What do you like the most?”, “What do you like the least?”, and “What’s missing?” are good questions to start with. Too many questions can be overwhelming, so embrace constraints.

Next, create a list of places to check regularly for feedback. Your application page can have discussion forums, reviews, and a Wall. Also keep an eye on community activity outside of Facebook with a Google Alert for your application name, so you can respond to blog and forum posts.

As you launch your application, be proactive and reach out to your early users. Ask them the questions you prepared, follow up on their answers, and answer any questions they may have. If a member engages with you in any way, be sure to thank them.

Ask your users to rate, review, and invite their friends to try out your application. If people seem unsatisfied, work on addressing their concerns before you ask them to tell their friends.

Pay particular attention to language. Most people ...

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