Setting Up a Community Site: #4 Focus

This post is a belated rounding out of the series on setting up a community site, which I started in 2008. The concept at that time was to establish a site under the title Social Media East and use the WordFrame platform. My concept has changed, but I’m finding that a lot of the thinking I did back then is still useful and I hope it will be useful for others.

I’d written four posts on the subject

Setting Up a Community Site: Introduction

Setting Up a Community Site: #1 Concept and Name

Setting Up a Community Site: #2 Purpose

Setting Up a Community Site: #3 People

That left one to go – on Focus. At the end of the post on People, I wrote that the focus of the project

…will not be something fixed: it will be subject to change. Whether the appropriate clarifying terminology for that is “movable feast”, “depends on circumstances” or “evolves over time” I’m not sure right now.

I then allowed myself to be distracted from the task, working on issues about the design and functionality of the site..

Since then, it’s not just the focus of the project that has changed. I’ve done a re-think of the whole project and am re-casting it completely, in line with some re-alignment of my coaching business.

In the intervening time I’ve also had the good fortune to read Patrick O’Keefe’s excellent book Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards which I reviewed here in November last year. One of the benefits of studying what Patrick had to say was that I was compelled to think through more fully my ideas about building and supporting a community.

Short story: I’m putting aside the Social Media East concept as a rationale for the site and proceeding to work on a fully revised concept, with the title Social Media Roadmap. More of that in due course.

I must add that I have in no way lost interest in the subject of social media as seen in and from the perspective of China, Japan, South-east Asia and Australasia. Far from it.

It’s really a matter of practical management of resources, especially my time, and getting a clearer alignment of my various online activities with my vision for my coaching business.

My thinking right now is that on the new Social Media Roadmap site I will have some sort of ordering of information by geographic region and/or countries.

The WordFrame platform will easily accommodate that sort of content management.

On the community building aspect, the revised concept and title of Social Media Roadmap will presumably mean that any community which develops will have some characteristics different from what the Social Media East concept might have attracted.

One unresolved question I have is what to do now with the domain socialmediaeast.com. Any takers?

Des Walsh

Business coach and digital entrepreneur. With coach training from Coachville.com and its Graduate School of Coaching, and a founding member of the International Association of Coaching, Des has been coaching business owners and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Over the same period he has also been actively engaged in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy. He is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a certified specialist in social media strategy and affiliate marketing.

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