Here’s the list…

  1. Engage
    Don’t just listen to your community. Engage
  2. Enforce
    Let the community help set standards and policies for appropriate behavior-then enforce them
  3. Take Responsibility
    Fess up immediately when you make mistakes
  4. Step Back
    Don’t be afraid to step back and let your customers take over
  5. Give Freely
    Never underestimate the allure of a free T-shirt (or sticker, or button…)
  6. Be Patient
    Take knee-jerk reactions with a grain of salt
  7. Hire Fans
    Make sure your employees are as passionate about your product as your community’s most die-hard fans
  8. Stay Calm
    Develop a thick skin
  9. Focus
    Be flexible but don’t lose sight of your priorities
  10. Be Visible
    Stay human

What’s missing from the list? Features!!!

No features to be found. Not a one. Now THAT says something about
building a community. It’s not about features, it’s about
human-to-human interaction and being part of a group. That, to me, is
the implicit lesson here…Flickr doesn’t see community
building as a feature set, they see it as interpersonal communication.

Now, a response to this might be…but so many features on
Flickr and other social networking sites enable community, or make
community possible. To some extent that is true, but not much. There
were online communities way back before the Web in places like the Well
and their features were incredibly crude…yet they still formed a
very tight community. So while we need some basic level of
communication means, there is no such thing as a “community
feature set”.