Hi.. Ways to build a community around your products. • Encourage Participation Encourage participation via newsletters, emails, etc. Basically, in any consumer communication, indicate the presence of a community and encourage them to participate. • Reward Participation Reward community participation. Many communities use point systems for this task. Whether its monitoring the number of posts, or allowing community members to assign reputation points, the points really don't have a tangible value, yet community participants will strive to get more and more points. (i.e. Yahoo! Answers) • Reward Good Behavior For customers that assist with technical support, provide them with a complimentary upgrade version and thank them for their participation and support. Communicate with active participants and elevate their status in the community, perhaps allowing them some moderator duties or other privileges. Public recognition is a great motivator. • Something For Something Understand that participating in a community takes time. If you want people to be active, you must be willing to give a little. Allow back-links in forum signatures, make forum signature links "do follow", etc. Community participation must be give and take. • Trust Reputation indicators can also be a great motivator. Allow forum participants to assign trust points to others in the community. A community member that consistently provides helpful information can earn a high level of "trust" points. • Make It Easy To Follow Make the community easy to follow. Provide RSS feeds, email notices, and other tools that will allow community participants to easily follow threads and discussions of interest. • Engage Above all, participate! If you do not take an active role in your community, it is unlikely that your customers will. • Moderate With Moderation While you may instinctively wish to crush forum debates with a heavy hand, moderate with moderation instead. Remember that all community participants are customers or potential customers, so be flexible regarding what is allowed, and moderate with moderation. • Contests Contests can be used to increase participation and to improve the quality of participation. Employ a contest to discern the top poster of the month, or the best post of the month. For example: here's a contest from the MJTnet forum. • Get Personal Send members private messages offline to thank them for particularly helpful comments or posts.