Rebranding a Community
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Millions of them lie dormant and each year more join their ranks. They are the walking dead of the online world, and much like their zombie cousins of B-movie fame, everything is technically still running but no one is home. Sound familiar? Keep reading, and you'll learn a few ways to breathe some new, real life into an apparently-dead community by changing its focus.
If you run one of these communities, the odds are that you do remember a time when your community was thriving ,and you yearn for those halcyon days again, but you know in your heart that even though your infrastructure is sound, the promise it was based on just won't deliver anymore. Maybe your VCR -themed community has finally given way to the DVD (don't worry, Blu-ray will get them soon enough) or your "Christian Virgins Believe Brittany" group has been decimated by Brittany and her scandals.
No matter why your topic is dead, you just know that it is not worth trying CPR; it is time for your community to move on, break ties with the old and forge a new path towards a shot at a happy, profitable and vibrant new life with a new, more compatible topic.
There is, however, a world of difference between knowing what needs to be done and knowing how to go about making it into a reality. So today we are going to take a look at how to get from point A to point B.
Step 1: Re-concept
Before you make any changes to the existing community, you need to have a solid idea of what you will be replacing it with. I know, I know it is very tempting to just dive in head first and start deleting at will, dizzy with the new-found sense of possibility, but if you do this, you will find yourself stalling later on in the process, so take the time up front and you will be thanking yourself later on. When I tell you that you need to have a new concept, I do not mean something vague or a topic you know is too weak to stand up on its own.
Examples of bad concepts:
- A video game community
- A site devoted to Karaoke
- A place for writers to get information online
Examples of good concepts:
- A video game community focusing on all of the current generation PlayStation console (PS3 and PSP) games. The community will feature video trailers of the games, a community ranking system and reviews of the games by both one established reviewer and community members.
- A karaoke site where users can create profiles based on the type of music they enjoy and find other singers who enjoy the same mix of styles. Users will be able to upload original audio clips to share with the community for feedback.
- A community where experienced writers can get advice from experts in the fields of law, finance and editing and have their questions answered.
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