This is why “Build it, and they will come” doesn’t work in real life, and why when you do build something, you need to be prepared for it to be interpreted and used in ways you didn’t intend.
And that’s a good thing.
“People can’t be put into communities. They join them. Nobody owns a community, not even the platform owner. Groups of people aren’t a community until they move from connections to building two-way relationships and find a shared purpose. Community involves both what we get from the interaction and what the community as a whole benefits from the interaction. The intentions of a common corporate master matter little unless executed in alignment with these outcomes.”
These words are from MVP Simon Terry, who writes about the value of community here.
Community managers build and shape and guide, and while we’re busy building, shaping, and guiding–and there’s always another awesome refinement–we have to remember to step back and get out of our own way so everyone else can find their own value in this space.
We keep the lights on that everyone uses to see.