12 tips for growing online communities


The Knight Citizen News Network has produced a list of 12 tips for growing positive online communities. This is as dead-on a list as I’ve ever encountered, so be sure to give it a read.

Among the tips:

The “if you build it, they will come” approach to online community rarely produces good results. Most people don’t want to be the first one to strike up a public conversation. It’s helpful to do some behind-the-scenes recruiting of knowledgeable, reasonable, friendly, interested, and gregarious people to check in with your community regularly.


If possible, find a way to spotlight the best posts and threads from your community. Slate.com does this in its political forum, The Fray. That forum’s main page highlights the following kinds of contributions: editor’s picks, most read, and highest rated.

Read more from this great list.

And, check out this Journalistopia list of more resources on communities and citizen journalism.

[Photo by aleske]

Author: Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's Sun-Sentinel.com and OrlandoSentinel.com. Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.