Why Online Communities Fail
By oracletechnet on Jul 15, 2008
The author, Ben Worthen, hits the nail squarely on its head:
Businesses launching online communities repeat a series of blunders. First, they have a tendency to get seduced by bells and whistles and blow their online-community budget on technology...(They should) spend resources identifying and reaching out to potential community members instead of investing in software that makes predictions, or even social-networking technology.
Businesses say that their primary objectives are generating word-of-mouth marketing and increasing customer loyalty. Yet the metric that businesses use most often to measure success is the number of visits to the site.
If you've seen me speak or present, you'll remember that one of my favorite statements is "I don't care about page views", which often elicits gasps from the audience.
Community is about community and community leaders, folks (eg Oracle ACEs); don't be seduced by eye candy!