How to spruce up your online community for 2011

Have you started taking mental stock of things for 2010 yet?  It's the time of year when everyone should put aside some time to evaluate and set goals.  Today's blog isn't about dieting, though; it's about cleaning house and preparing for the upcoming year.  Let's make 2011 the year your online community grows wings and takes off!

Here are some ideas to get your juices flowing:
  • What worked last year?  Did you do anything that resulted in an uptick in new members or new conversation? How can you repeat that success next year?
  • What stunk last year? We all flub up sometimes. Perhaps a troll got out of control, or that haiku contest wasn't well-received...take the lessons and see how you can avoid a repeat next year.
  • Who do you admire? Is there another community manager you truly admire? Why not plan this year to make a connection and get some insights from the source? We should all be sharing our best tips!
  • Do you need to do some housekeeping? At home, I like to toss clutter and re-organize things at this time of year; it helps me focus better and start the next year on the right foot.  You can do this in your online community too; think about deleting or archiving stale content, refocusing your forum topics, and purging inactive member accounts.
  • What's next? Do you have an actual goal for your community? Whether it's revenue generation, marketing/branding, technical support, or just for fun, your community should have a clear purpose and road ahead (and it doesn't always mean massive numbers of members).  Pick your goal and focus on it over the next year, and you'll see results.  After all, if you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there!
What are your online community resolutions for next year?

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I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.

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