The lifecycle of an online community
From when the community starts to when it ages, this post details it all.
What I will share here is in no way created by me, instead, it was created by the good folks at https://www.feverbee.com. I always found the most useful bit of information on their site and in their community https://experts.feverbee.com. The original document is available as a PDF download on their site, see a link to it: revamped lifecycle (feverbee.com). I’ll share it below as an image.
In the image, they share what to expect at the different months or stages of growth of the community.
Let us look at it starting with the section on months or age as I like to refer to it. If your community is 0 - 6 months old, it is in the inception stage. The kind of members that will join are your founding members(Founders). They join because of their commitment to you or are a friend of yours. They have no sense of community. Their organic interaction which is an activity that happens without any input from you will be less than 50%. Organic growth will be less than 50% too. There will be around 50 members or less being active every month. This is a walkthrough of the Inception stage. The key things you should be doing here are:
Inviting new members,
Starting or initiating new discussions,
Prompting members to participate,
And building relationships and bonds with these members.
Go through the lifecycle and use it as a reference material as you think about and grow your community.