Creating an own community?
We are starting into week 6! Today I would like to reflect about what I learned by using online communities and networks in innovative design.
I learned that online communities and networks in innovative design are very useful! Innovative design means that innovators have to create something unknown. New concepts are disruptive but this doesn’t means that it is impossible. So why not making it possible with the help of a community through crowdfunding or crowdsourcing? You are easily getting a huge variety of ideas and you can already use your community as a possible target group.
I personally believe that knowing why your customer (community) cares about you is the main design principle in creating online communities. You need to create a platform which only exists ones in the world. A platform/community were only your customer cares about! A platform were one common point is shared by the whole community! Because there are plenty of other communities in the world. I learned this point during week 3, when we were comparing different websites (e.g. FarmHack, Innocentive) for CNCPTMKR. There are already a lot of communities about sustainable agriculture. But why is CNCPTMKR so unique? We figured out that CNCPTMKR is so unique, cause of the fact that Maarten believes in empowering his customers to do a better job in ‘moving social innovation forward’! No other website had that point!
What happens if you do not know the answer to the question: “Why are they caring about me”? Just go out and ask your costumers: Why do they care about you? What do they love about your product/service? I’m sure that they will be happy to give you an answer about that :).
What about fostering an online community? I personally made the experience that fostering the online community is an important factor! If you do not care about your customers, business partners or your community – who else will do it for you? Probably no one and that means that you are losing from time to time customers/users. You need to be active in your own community, in other communities, on social networks (e.g. facebook, twitter) or in “real life”. That all costs a lot of time! Therefore you need to be willing to spend all that time. But in the end it will be definitely worth it!
During the next weeks I wold like to learn how and when the best time would be to create a platform for companies? Would it be useful to create a platform if I’ve got 100 customers or would it be better if I’ve 1000 customers? Or are 1000 customers still not enough to create an own platform.
What are you guys thinking about opening an own community/platform? When would be the best time? Or is it all about a good marketing strategic?
Thanks for reading and till next week, cheers,