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I'm a moderator on a brand new site, how can I help drive expert users to it?

This will help grow the community as well as improving the content on the site.

10

I don't think there is a real way to control this as that's like attracting only rich people to your restaurant.

A few things that you can do:

  • Make quality guidelines to ensure that good content gets added, not just anything.
  • Approach prominent figures in your field. Is there a famous blogger? Important person? Just someone smart that you think that your community would appreciate? Try to invite them. Don't approach them directly as they might get annoyed thinking it's just spam. One thing I've heard of is watching their social media and seeing if there's something that they don't know and were asking and see if you can get some information added to your community. Then, you can contact them and say "Hey, I saw you needed help with XYZ. I found this link that will help you out: [link]."
2
  • 1
    Your allegory doesn't make much sense. There are many ways to attract only rich people to your restaurant. Exclusive location, expensive furniture, well-trained personnel, exquisite dishes and most of all very high prices. But none of that transfers well to community building.
    – Philipp
    Oct 14 '14 at 8:29
  • @Philipp you can do the same thing with a site: instead of expensive furniture have a good UI to make it easy to use, instead of exquisite dishes have lots of underlying content, and instead of well-trained staff have good moderators and admin staff. It doesn't directly transfer over, but in both situations all you can do is make it attractive to a certain type of person as it's pretty hard to defer a certain type of user from your site (not always desirable). Oct 15 '14 at 0:22
5

An expert only feels well in the company of other experts. Whether or not a community is populated by experts can usually be told by the standard of the content you find there.

When you see lots of duplicate questions about the typical beginner issues, you know the community consists mostly of total newbies and of some intermediates who believe to be experts because they know the answers to the typical beginner questions. An expert won't waste their precious time on such a community.

To prevent this you need to have a zero-tolerance policy against duplicate threads. When someone opens a topic which was already discussed before, close it and refer them to the previous thread. Even better, create a static page with a FAQ with all the beginner questions and refer them there. That way people will either have to come up with more advanced questions or stop participating.

Another way to ensure a high content standard in your community is to lead by example. Show the community what kind of content you want in your community by starting threads about them yourself. That way you intimidate any newbies and lure in any experts who come along.

1

I'm a moderator on a brand new site, how can I help drive expert users to it?

Although making some experts aware of a new community is an effective way to attract them to the community, the following points should be considered as priorities:

  • Some principles or behavior matter much to many people, especially experts, such as fair moderation and freedom of speech so that they do not prefer to contribute to communities violating such principles, even if such communities are uniquely outstanding in some aspects.

    Thus, it is strongly recommended to care such principles within a community.
  • We need to put ourselves into experts' shoes: why should I, as an expert, spend my time and energy to contribute a community? In other words, how would it benefit me?

    So we need to develop our community in a way, for example, by equipping the community with some unique features or policies, that experts feel the need to contribute to the community.

This will help grow the community as well as improving the content on the site.

Although experts can create high-quality posts in a community, I somewhat disagree with inviting from the outside of the community due to the following reasons:

  • Contributing effectively to an online community does not necessarily depend on the expertise level of contributors but some other characteristics such as creativity, writing skills, and etc., which many experts lack. Experts lacking such characteristics cannot likely improve the content of your community effectively. However, reaching some acceptable level of expertise can be much easier than gaining such characteristics.
  • In my opinion, nonexperts growing within a community and gradually increasing their level of expertise will be much more helpful in improving the content of the community than outside experts.

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