Rebranding a Community - Step 3-5: Starting the Change
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Prepare Your Content
Your new community will need some fresh content in order to get off the ground. Otherwise your new users will get there and leave quickly, bored with nothing to do. Search engines will give you low rankings, and anyone looking to build a link to your site will have little to go on. The content that you choose for this must be not just interesting and relevant, but open-ended; this way, you encourage visitors to speak up and make their voices heard.
If you choose a "safe" topic or a near-universal sentiment, you will lose out on the links, users and recognition that a little bit of controversy can help you to generate. That's not to say you need to be contrary; just be sure to ask questions and leave room for debate as much as, if not more than, you make statements.
Forum Starters: PS3 has a surprisingly small number of titles out for it, even though it has been out for a while now. This is surprising given the flood of titles that showed up when PS2 arrived. What PS2 series should be carried into PS3 that you haven't seen yet?
Blog Topics: Lego Indiana Jones: Solid Platforming, Tired Concept? Post your review.
Step 4: Go Clean House
On the day that you said you would make the change over, and not before, you can clean out the junk. Get rid of old postings, chat logs, forum threads and user profiles. In addition, go ahead and change the site's title and header to the new information. If you have embedded tags for search engines, change them over, too. Now is your chance to enjoy that kid knocking down a block tower feeling. Once it's empty, you are free to move on -- just don't take out code for any features you want to keep.
Step 5: Add Your New Glossy
If you are making design-level changes to your site, like a new color scheme, a template or the additional removal of features. now would be a really good time to go ahead and do that. Even if you are not making any major changes, you should take this step's time to add a new logo and header, as well as any meta tags if you use them. Once that's done, check out the site from the front end to be sure that your changes have truly been applied universally.
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