Agoracom Blog

I Am A Panelist At Canada’s Premier Web Conference – A Top 10 List For Attendees

Posted by AGORACOM at 6:49 PM on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Good afternoon to you all. I’m very proud to announce that I have been invited to speak in a panel discussion at Mesh, Canada’s premier web conference. My panel is called Cultivating Community and includes some people that have made a career out of creating and cultivating community – not an easy thing to do in a world full of intense competition.

I am very proud of the invitation for three reasons:

  1. Finance sites don’t get much “Love” from the techie world, so congrats to our entire community for helping AGORACOM get noticed.
  2. I attended the inaugural Mesh Conference as a complete rookie – but anxious to learn about Web 2.0, sort out the useful tools from the cool ones and apply them in a real business environment.
  3. Member satisfaction, client satisfaction and metrics point to both a successful Mesh education and a successful business implementation.


Given my incredible experience with Mesh, it’s only fitting that I give back to the conference by posting my personal Top 10 List of Do’s and Dont’s for building and cultivating a community. I hope to cover these during the panel tomorrow – but you never know. Enjoy:

1. Figure Out A Biz Model or Die.

  • What Does Your Space Need? Find It and Fill It.
  • Adsense Will Not Suffice
  • Find Paying Customers. Focus On Business Not Individual Subscriptions
  • Making Money Isn’t Selling Out. You Need It Before You Can Change The World
  • Make A Plan – But Be Flexible

2. Position Yourself As A Premium Site – Focus On Content, Not “Cool”
3. Recruit Members/Leaders To Create Great Content and Traffic. Poach Weak Competitors.
4. Customer Service, Customer Service. Customer Service. 24/7/365.
5. Hire Developers That Understand Your Business, Not Just Code. Hat Tip To Our Developers.
6. Knock On Doors – A Lot Of Them – And Business Will Come.
7. Attend and Network At Conferences Attended By Your Customer Base
8. Search Engine Marketing – CPC CPC CPC CPC
9. Don’t Launch A Major Upgrade Without Input From Key Members
10. Don’t Add Features Without A Reason. “Feature Creep” Will Kill You.

…OK and 1 more

11. Don’t Explain Technology To Clients, Explain The Business Result!

There you have it. If you are serious about building a community that will survive long into the future, then take this list seriously.


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3 Responses to “I Am A Panelist At Canada’s Premier Web Conference – A Top 10 List For Attendees”

  1. Dom says:

    Thanks for the hat tip George!

    I’d have gone to see you on the panel at Mesh, but we were all too busy building and testing the next code-release for Agoracom 😉

    You guys have been a real pleasure to work with, and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve both learned a tonne from each other in the process. Here’s to the next release.


  2. AGORACOM says:

    Steve, I want to first thank you for the kind words. Inspiration is exactly what I was gunning for. I wanted to point people in the right direction (understanding business value) and then get them to believe anything is possible.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes.


  3. Steve Reside says:

    Hi George,

    I just attended the Mesh panel session on Cultivating Community that you were a part of and I have to say you were inspiring. I particularly liked your focus on the need for understanding the business value that a site/community is offering and then focusing effort on building a business model for that community that supports that value.

    If we start with and continue to focus on building value, then it’s hard to imagine how we can fail.

    Thanks for the insights!

    Steve Reside