Online communities. What are they really about? If your brand is sponsoring an online community, is profit the only - or most valuable - measure of success? On 23 May in the #bizforum chat this question led to robust discussion: "A brand community should be judged by conversions, not conversations. Agree/disagree?"
I disagreed then. Still do now. A community, branded or otherwise, cannot be judged by conversions over conversations. Provide good content, value to your community, good listening and interaction and you will build brand ambassadors - and evangelists - this will lead to conversions. But to go in looking for conversions alone, to measure on profit as your only indicator - is isolationist, and your empire will crumble. At least your online community will.