One of the biggest challenges for any community manager is to find ways to get new members integrated into your existing community with all of its established norms and ways of working. This can be particularly difficult if many of the things that define your community aren’t clearly documented. For any community, having great documentation can solve so many potential issues and make it easy for both new and existing members to get the information that they need quickly and easily. Ideally, you can put all of this documentation in a wiki and enlist the help of other community members. In the MeeGo community that I manage, getting all of our processes, guidelines and frequently asked questions documented has been a big focus for me lately.
Here are a few things that should be clearly documented:
- FAQ: Always have a good frequently asked questions document. We have a main FAQ for MeeGo, which also links off to several other FAQs for specific topics. This is on my short list of things that still need a lot of additional work.
- Processes: Document as many of your processes as you can to help members learn how to participate. Nothing is more frustrating for a new member than trying to participate, not getting it right and having to start over.
- Community Guidelines: Have clear guidelines about what members are expected to do (or not do) that you can point people to for more information. I try to avoid guidelines that look like lists of rules, and instead, focus on encouraging people to make the right choices.
- Guidelines are important, but interpretation is key
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Work
- Flickr Community Guidelines
- MeeGo Community Guidelines
Part of a series of community manager tips blog posts.