Building a web community

I was asked during one of my live twitcam sessions the title of this blog entry, with the number 3 in front of it. What are 3 things needed to build a web community. This is the answer I came up with right on the spot.

  1. Participate
  2. Share
  3. Keep costs low

Participate: Use the service, website and community you are building. Be an avid user and of it yourself, even though you own it or built it. I use rentoid more than anyone and love it. You are not part of a community if you are a spectator. You need to be involved in it. Listen, create, help, assist, but not rule over. It’s not a kingdom or a principality, it’s a community, which means that all participants are equal regardless of their status. It doesn’t matter, if you are the customer or the creator of the community, everyone matters. It should be evident in the organic dynamics that all of the community are valued. everyone has something to offer and add that we can all benefit from.

Share: Share not because you expect something back. Share because we are all humans, and this is how humans roll. We are great at being there for each other a providing support. Doing stuff for the benefit of others for reasons that go beyond the financial. it was once said that the perfect day is the day you help someone who will never have the chance to repay you.

Keep costs low: Not for any economic reason, other than building things of incredible value like communities take time. If you build an expensive infrastructure for your community there will be too much financial pressure on making it work quickly, and communities don’t work like that. They are organic and take time to find a balance and set of values and systems. If you have too much cost associated with what you are doing, your behaviour will become non-community like. It just wont work.

Startup Blog says, Start building.


  1. Mick Liubinskas · November 6, 2009

    Beautiful, wonderful and feels right.

    I was going to add some more…….

    Patience – but that is in low cost.

    Honesty – but that’s in participate.

    Be the activity – but that’s in participate too.

    Nice work, again Steve.

  2. Dape · November 6, 2009

    Hi Steve,
    like what you say in your post about the human factor its good to hear, been skimming through your blogs found them to be very interesting at first glance. I thought I would start at this blog and work up to your most recent. – – – Nice One! Informative, gritty and most of all down to earth which comes over in your words ‘everyone matters’. Will enjoy reading through the others I am sure they would benefit two of my friends that are just about to start a business. I will recommend your site. regards Dape

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