What is the difference between an on-line community and a following?

I have had so many meetings with clients over the past few years, where I have had to explain my approach to building an on-line community rather than just trying to add numbers. I came across this very valuable table from Richard Millington (the founder of FeverBee Limited, an online community consultancy) where he makes a very easy and clear distinction.

what approach are you taking, and is it working for you?

Following Community
Short-term Long-term
Quick growth Slow growth
Focus on growth Focus on engagement
Unlimited # members Limited # members
Limited interaction between members High interactions between members
Fixed strategy Emergent strategy
Easy Hard
Coca-Cola Innocent Drinks
Develop audiences for products Develops products for the audience
Homebase Wiggly Wigglers
Content about topic Content about community
Centralized control Share power with top members
Reactive to questions Stimulating discussions
Any products Sociable products
Audience wants info about products Audience wants info about each other
Build relationships with group as a single entity Build strong relationships with top members 
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About Helen Tonetti

Internet and Marketing fantatic. We help you develop and implement Social Media into your marketing activity. Done in stages we develop a clear strategy for you, build the accounts, add content and followers, before training your team to take over and manage the process. Marketing Director of Video Expression, we develop on-line marketing and sales video channels that get results.

Posted on May 14, 2012, in A mix of articles, Guest Bloggers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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