Reversing Community Degradation
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It can happen to any online community: conversations drift, people leave, spammers invade, what have you. What was once a vibrant community becomes a place where no sane person really wants to hang out. While the evolution of a community is natural, that does not mean you must resign yourself to seeing it deteriorate. There are things you can do to reverse the process, as this article details.
You are, in one way or another, responsible for a community; maybe you are a professional community manager, or a web master, or a systems administrator or you just run your own blog. No matter how you got into it you're here, and there are a lot of ins and outs that go along with that responsibility. One of those duties is to be a standard bearer of community quality. Don't be fooled into thinking that this is a problem that only large communities face; it is most decidedly not.
Any community can fall prey to flagging standards and take a quick sleigh ride down the slippery slope to the online garbage pile. If you wake up one day and find out that your community has gone to the dogs, then you have brought yourself to the right place because this is your one stop no fuss, no muss guide for how to clear out your community without alienating the core of the good members who are trying to keep things going and adding value to the conversation.
First, we need to determine if your community could actually use a face lift. So we'll take a look at bad communities, and if yours matches one get ready to give your community it's own makeover.
Type 1: The spammers have taken over
If link baiters know that they can get comments through without a filter, then your blog or community will end up with a never-ending stream of comments or posts that are just junk. Maybe it's a camel with nothing but a link, or it is comments full of advertising; no matter what form it happens to take, it is the artery clogger of the online world, spam.
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