5 Tips from Ubisoft’s Nate Mordo
Tip #1. Be honest and transparent
Internet communities are notoriously good at smelling a rat. If you’re not honest, even by omission, you can get in big trouble.
Tip #2. Provide tools
More and more media is not simply being passively consumed but being remixed. Give a community tools they can use to upload artwork, create their own blog, or join a message board. For example, if a person is able to upload a picture of himself dressed as a character from a game, he feels like he’s actually doing something rather than just passively viewing a trailer of the game.
Tip #3. Don’t try to control the message
A brand used to be able to carry a company through hard times. Today, brands can’t trust that anymore, because the minute a company does something "wrong," it’s dissected online. If you decide not to put up a message board because you’re afraid people might write something negative about you, you’re simply hiding your head in the sand. Instead, learn from what is being said.
Tip #4. Hierarchy is important
In a community, "elders" begin to emerge, and their opinion counts more than the opinion of someone new. Communities like bragging rights, so find ways to make status clear. You might assign points based on how many times a person has posted or how much they read on the site. A certain number of points signifies a certain rank.
Tip #5. Differentiate between blogs and message board
A blog is a soapbox, mainly for a single person, with a small number of people who give feedback. It’s "one-to-many." A message board is more of a roundtable, "many-to-many." The difference is subtle but important, and if you want to foster community you might want to consider both.