We’ve almost finished creating our Discourse forum and now we thinking about how we start to build our community. If anyone has any tips, resources or experience that would help us know how to get started it would be greatly apprecitated.
I recommend the blog entry we wrote which is linked in the “getting started” topic that comes with every new Discourse instance in the staff category:
Thanks that was just what I was looking for.
You should also check out http://www.feverbee.com/
If you have specific questions you can definitely ask them here.
How much time does community management take. Is it something that can be done part time whilst the forum is growing.
Community management takes as much time as you are willing to contribute to it. What I mean by that, is that there are many things wrapped up into community management, some of which needs to happen at once, some of that happens over time, but all of it takes time.
There is a pretty good document which gives you an idea of the growth stages of a community’s maturity which you can find at Community Maturity Model - The Community Roundtable. Also, Feverbee as @HAWK mentioned has some good resources, one of which has a good read on community lifecycles and activities you’ll perform at The Online Community Lifecycle | FeverBee
It depends on how important success is and how primed your potential audience are.
I have launched a community part time (and it is still healthy after 5 years) but I had a strong base of potential audience members ready to go. If you don’t, it will be a full time job.
Once you become established you will need to either decide to go full time (if growth and income are important) or stay part time (if you are happy in maintenance mode).
For organisations that need to make income from their community I’d definitely recommend a full time CM. If it’s a hobby community, part time is fine.