The Official Blog of Cogmap, the Org Chart Wiki



Building community via check writing

Randomly have seen a lot of posts about people trying to build blog community by writing checks of varying sizes. Specifically:

Couple of thoughts:

  • I really hope someone wins for commenting “first!!!!!!” because that is the king of comments.
  • How much is community worth? RWW has decided to invest ~$1000 in hopes of building some community this way. Valleywag has to provide laptops and/or office space or something to a bunch of interns. Maybe that is $5,000 in laptops for endless comments on every post? And RWW found a sponsor, AdaptiveBlue, to foot the bill.
  • I think we all imagine that a vibrant community is worth a lot more than that. So obviously the real question is “is this the right way to build community?” RWW is taking a shot. That seems like a good idea. For $30, you probably aren’t getting thoughtful comments.
  • RWW needs to keep awareness up to maximize the benefit of the promotion. They will probably get a lot of comments on the first day but fewer comments the third week unless they refresh people about the contests existence. Should the contests be around weekly or daily thematic things? Should the contests look at specific topics they want to build community around?

It would be interesting if there were more thoughts by true professionals on ways to actually force community in this manner. Maybe Tara Hunt has ideas?

5 Responses to “Building community via check writing”

  1. Tara Hunt Says:

    It sounds like what you are getting at is that one can’t buy community. If so, you are bang on. ;)

    Volume does not equal community, but many people feel that it does. It feels like an application of old skool marketing valuation to a very grassroots phenomenon, which doesn’t fit so well. If you have to buy your community, they aren’t really your community.

  2. brent Says:

    I heart the Internet!

    Actually, what I am getting at is, “wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy?” Tara is the authority. It sounds like the answer is you can’t buy it. So RWW is out of luck. Obviously, the next question is can you hire your community?

    OK, that was tongue-in-cheek.

  3. brent Says:

    Hmmm, I wonder what the metrics are to identify passion about a community? Here at Cogmap, we look at map creation and edits more closely than we look at page views to gauge site activity. That is only loosely connected with passion. Maps with multiple editors and high edit frequency, for us, represent passion in an area.

  4. Cogblog » Blog Archive » Does paying for comments work? Says:

    […]   « Building community via check writing […]

  5. Unleash the Metadata! » Blog Archive » Community Says:

    […] offer of an Amazon gift certificate at the bottom, and then drawn into an interesting comment on community (”can you really build a community of commenters by paying people?”). I’m […]