August 08, 2011
What is needed is sincerity and passion; knowledge yes, but not as important as passion and sincerity. But it all depends on what the community is; hard to explain....I mean, Count, I would immediately disqualify you if you founded a community on meat products, make up and food. Sorry, dude, I am not going to join any community with you as the founder if you had meat or make up in the community, you're vegan LOL! Also, no offense, I don't think I want you founding a community about sports, since I've never seen you talk about any sport. I'll join you if you want to start one about skunk spray and waffles LMAO! Sorry about the jokes, I couldn't put together a good example.
What it is, it is great to have knowledge about something so you can talk to your members. Why start something if you don't know anything about or not passionate about? What would be your goal..to look great? You have to do one you really care and confident about; as well as letting your members know you care. Of course there are exceptions, but for some folks, who take their reviews and thoughts seriously, they'd like to have a good founder who shares the same passion....otherwise what would be the point? A founder has to be able to converse, and share with his members sincerely and to make them feel welcome. I think that is a community founders job...to make his members' thoughts matter.
Yes, it needs some knowledge or passion....I love movies but I don't know everything about them; I do see myself as knowledgeable on some areas of movies especially certain genres and Asian Cinema, but not all-knowing. I know about anime, but others have shown more knowledge than me (Frank and Jay just to name two), but I share that passion and drive to share. However, you won't see me starting a competition for "Culture of Cute" (I mean I am not cute), or start one about restaurants since I wouldn't know a great restaurant from a good one or Star Trek (I am only a casual fan of STNG) or classical music or to be vegan....but I am part-vegetarian...since I am not that passionate or that knowledgeable about them.
As for relying on members to drive a community...you can only show the way. It is up to them to walk through. A founder also needs to trust and be flexible to what his members want in the community...as long as it stays within the foundations and principle the founder had created. A founder needs to set the example and show his passion through his own reviews....
Hope that helps...I think this question is somewhat related...one needs to gain trust, to trust and to do so, you have to care about the community and your membership... http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/Question-We_d...en_members_how-271.html
August 15, 2011
It is not important for community founders to be extremely knowledgeable about the subjects and topics their community is based on. The reason behind this is because a Lunch community is whatever the founder wants it to be. It can be a place to discover new areas about life thanks to the collective contributions of the members, or it can be a place where experts come together to discuss areas they are passionate about. It can be fun and senseless or with purpose and deep personal significance. Lunch communities are broad, and that is part of their appeal to new members of the site. Taking that away by suggesting that all founders be "experts" on the subjects they base their communities on would defeat the whole purpose of Lunch-- which is the free exchange of dialog among all types of individuals. Instead, we would have a site of elite thinkers, or at least people who think they are elite.
As for whether a community founder should rely on its community members for knowledge versus whether they should provide that service to community members is again another matter of choice. Founders can engage with their members as much or as little as they desire and vice-versa. I've seen many communities which are just homes for posting reviews whereas other communities really engage the members to interact with each other socially. It's a matter of preference, and the lack of initial knowledge means very little. What is most important is the dialog between individuals.
August 10, 2011
I posted this answer a few hours ago and have now no idea where. Here's another try, this time, I think, in the right place. How important for a community founder/leader "to be extremely knowledgeable…etc" Not very. Too much knowledge and passion can easily slide into what can seem like know-it-allness. The point of a founder/leader is to consistently encourage dialogue, sharing knowledge and opinion, and a sense of being colleagues within the community. For me, that means a temperament that naturally draws others out with well-thought questions (not just compliments) about most people's reviews. "You didn't mention so-and-so's performance. I thought it was unusually intense. What do you think?" "How does this compare with so and so," "Are there other films by so and so you recommend?" Tell me more about this, etc" Then comes a wide -- even if not deep -- interest in the subject (e.g. movies, music and so on), plus curiosity and enthusiasm. Challenge occasionally with a "I don't see that/I don't agree…tell me more." Not argumentative, but out of interest and curiosity. I think it also means that the founder/leader, in order to encourage dialogue, may need to moderate his or her own strong opinions (if they come across as too strong) in order the let others breathe a bit when they're posting on a subject that they may not know as much about. Should a community founder/leader rely on community members for this knowledge or be readily available to provide this to them? Seems to me the community founder/leader encourages as noted above, and the sharing of knowledge and opinion will be productive. The more members discuss and gently debate, the more we all learn. So that, for me, is job one. I don't really know what "readily available…to provide it" means, but the site should be about sharing, not teaching. All this is just opinion, and most of this most appropriately applies to subjective topics, like movies and such, and less so to wrenches or wenches (see London's escort services). Oops. I just noticed this is a community for community founders.
August 09, 2011
We obviously need some knowledge to start. But if it is a successful community, we will get in a large number of contributors with their own ideas. Additionally, some of the communities are based on the individual contributor's opinions (ex. My own community "Politics Your Way"). The Founder just needs to be knowledgable enough to determine if everything that is posted within their community is appropriate for their community.