Originally answered Apr 28, 2017
Here are ten common problems in communities. The first one is the most common.
- There is a lack of activity in the community: posts and meetings are infrequent, questions are not answered, requests for help are not responded to, posts receive few replies, and posts are not moderated appropriately
- Membership is too restricted (keeping out deserving members), or not restricted enough (allowing in trolls, spammers, and anonymous members)
- The community’s topic overlaps with one or more other existing communities, causing fragmentation of membership and confusion over which community to join
- The community’s topic is esoteric, uses company-specific nomenclature, is too broad, or is too narrow
- There is a lack of interest in the topic, or a lack of awareness about the community by prospective members, and it never achieves critical mass
- The community lacks a capable community manager who has the time and passion to lead it effectively
- The culture of the community is negative, intimidating, or alienating
- There is a lack of diversity of thought and experience among the members
- Community posts are not perceived as valuable, are always from the same few members, or are perceived as spam
- There are overly restrictive rules about what can be posted
For remedies to these problems, see these posts about communities of practice.