If We Build It, Will They Come?
May 04, 2010
Last weekend our new Clickability User Community portal went live. We published a large library of content as a starting point - over 1,000 documents. This is now open to our users to search, read, comment on, rate, and even add to. The better we are a capturing, organizing, and publishing information and documentation for our platform, the more successful our customers will be and the more self-reliant our customers will become.
There was a lot of effort put into building out the portal, and it will certainly take its fair share of care and feeding over time to keep it well organized, accurate and up to date. Aside from just "knowing" that this new portal was something that we should do, there was some clear evidence from our user base that a strong community experience will be of great value:
- Three customer recently began to collaborate on their approach to Social Media and Social Networks like Facebook. Not only is this the type of conversation that we want to be happening between customers, but we want to be in the middle of it. The new portal provides such a forum.
- Early this year, one of our users built a Firefox extension to facilitate using our platform. He officially submitted this to Mozilla to share with other users: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/50550 . Comments like this one: "Makes testing and debugging easier. Looking forward to incorporating it into my daily work flow" clearly indicate he provided something valuable.
- Another customer recently kicked off a project to clean up their entire deployment and are hungry for best practices to help with this process. This is a perfect thing to be asking the community and leverage the combined learnings of all of our customers. By being active participants in these conversations, we can distill and structure the breadth of practices into true best practices for the user base.
So, now that we have built it, will users come? Will they actively engage with others in the community and with our company through the portal? Early metrics and feedback are very positive, but communities take time to develop and mature - this is something that I am very much looking forward to being part of.