I have heard many people say they are going to open up a forum which will be popular and they will be cashing out from it. As naive as this sounds, this is the most popular reason for starting a blog or a forum.
First of all, a community is a place where people bound by a certain topic come together. In the interwebs, this means forums or blogs.
Certain sites are leading examples such as hacker news, coding horror, css-tricks, etc. The common point between these sites is that they weren’t meant to be a place where like minded people would gather.
So how to create one
Over the years, I have observed that its the early adopters which grow and shape a community. If these people are looked after, they will bring in many more people.
Now, if you have got a blog which just got a 100 facebook likes, it is not a community yet. And it is certainly characterized by a lot of unrelated random visitors giving likes or following you (on twitter)
So, first things first, make a place where people can give out information. To do this you need some sort of credibility. Now you see, all good hackers want to work with other good hackers. They can’t stand working in a bureaucratic nightmare like a government agency. So you need to decide which type of stuff are you good in and rope in other people.
Oh and its a bonus if you are creating a community with a couple of friends.
Eventually, your site will start acting as a public square where everyone can hand out.
Watering your community
I read a post somewhere that the tone of your community is important. That’s true. Unless you want something like reddit.
The tone of your community is important because people will start associating members of your community with your tone.
In this way, they can easily know when someone is from reddit, digg, 4chan(Ow), slashdot, etc.
Then there is the issue of admins. Like every general promoting a lieutenant, you will need to promote your loyal users to moderators, even admins. But beware that this is a tricky job. Some people can get cocky too.
But this shouldn’t be much of a problem if your would-be mods and admins are loyal to the site.
But why create one
Well, for starters, you get :
A group of like minded people together. Great especially when it is an obscured topic.
Internet fame. Probably the best reason.
Power. Lots of it. Especially when you are the commander of hundred keyboard warriors.
Enjoyment. Nothing kicks off your day better than reading a 20 page flame thread.
This is all for now. And if you can’t create one start joining one.