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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.