Are you planning to build an online community? Here are a few things you should be aware of:
1. Before developing your community you must be completely sold on the idea of online community including your senior management.
2. Your online community is not just one time commitment but an ongoing commitment. Online community development requires consistent dedication.
3. Who are going to be your most important members? How are you going to bring them?
4. How are you going to retain your members? What is going to be the sticky factor?
5. Online community should be developed such that publishing content is easy and not too permission heavy. You want user to contribute as much as they can.
6. There are several online community software products out there. So choose your vendor based on services, best practices and support.
7. The Community software should support "single sign-on"; that helps in integration with core systems and other existing software you might have.
8. Selecting a vendor that can implement your online community is important. Find someone that has a track record of continued success and full service, offers strategy, implementation and promotion. Working with several different vendors could cost more and result in slower growth.