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I am currently busy with a graduation assignment at a company that is specialised in e-commerce development. I am creating an online community (blog) platform, and I would like to have some opinions on a few matters. I know this can be more of a discussion rather than a question, but I would like to ask it anyway.

The target audience (e-commerce developers familiar with, for example, Magento) will be able to share their knowledge on this platform. This may be in the form of a tutorial, course, tips & tricks, new developments etc. The platform must be a tool to create one giant technical 'club' consisting of talented developers all over the world.

My biggest concern is the ability to trigger e-commerce developers to participate in my community and actually share their knowledge, with other sources out there like Medium, Scotch.io etc.

What will drive people/developers to write a post for an online community platform like Medium, Scotch.io or Stackoverflow? I.e. what do they get out of it?

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  1. Know your target audience. Meaning, use proper tools, community design, and interaction methods for the audience. For example, if it's going to be primarily used by English-speaking members (at least at this stage), be sure you focus on encouraging English as the primary language. Another example of a proper tool is if it will (or ends up leaning that way) be used primarily by mobile users, have community tools that are simple for mobile users to use.

  2. Focus on your fledgling community being the primary knowledge source for community to develop around the tool. Ergo, if you want to funnel people to your community, post relevant information only (which is arguable, however) on your site/community tool. Having a Facebook group or other tool with the pertinent information will dilute the brand. People, inherently, are lazy.

  3. Use the community as a funnel tool. Outside the community, if you get a question or request that's already been answered by the community, direct the asker to the appropriate thread, page, whatever.

  4. Have a robust (preferably configurable and opt-in) toolset. If users can receive responses offsite, they'll revisit when something catches their attention.

What will drive people/developers to write a post for an online community platform like Medium, Scotch.io or Stackoverflow? I.e. what do they get out of it?

Until the community reaches a critical mass of users--and as a result, organic advocates--having staff interact with (not to) the community in a friendly, complete and timely manner is the fastest way to achieve community growth.

  • Hi Dave, thank you for answering! I already took your points into consideration though :). The real question for me is what triggers developers to participate in a community, for example, Stackoverflow. Is it gaining reputation, the urge to share knowledge or something else? Basicly, why does Stackoverflow and Medium.com work so well? – Rubenxfd Jul 20 '17 at 7:40

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