Recently I’ve become obsessed with knowledge bases. More specifically, I’ve been fascinated with how they get constructed, what knowledge gets included, how they are structured and where the source of the knowledge comes from.
Many of us here are huge fans of a particular gaming studio who recently perpetrated, in my view, one of the worst forum migrations in recent memory. They went from one vendor to another, not Vanilla (unfortunately), and we just watched with horror. They broke all the fundamental rules of migration best practices, so I felt I had to share what happened and how they could have avoided it.
Great communities exist because of the amazing people involved. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Nonetheless, as departments and companies plan communities or they make decisions related to their online spaces, they tend to forget it's about people. I think part of the problem is we replace the word people when we talk about community, and use terms like members, users, or even super users. By using this terminology, it can be easy to forget the people factor. It’s very similar how in some corners project managers talk about “a resource”, when they really mean a person.
Sometimes within a company you have these really great examples of how people are using your product, and somehow you only share it amongst yourselves. Sales people know the examples to share with prospects and our SuccessTeam™ who helped extend Vanilla certainly know them as well. However, somewhere along the line, we forget to show people publicly how our customers extend our platform. Well guess what?! Today we change that by sharing 5 customers extending the Vanilla platform. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but a nice way to get your own creativity going.
One of the great things about being the Head of Community for a maker of online community software is an exposure to 100’s of communities. Another aspect of the role is also synthesizing ways to ensure success for new customers who launch a new community.