Building the community

Class Slides: Building Community

Building Community with Value
Quirky: One Week, 3,000 Product Ideas

8 Things to Avoid When Building a Community
How to build an open source community

add: How a Tiny Startup Used Reddit to Build an Army of 1,400 Ambassadors (and How You Can Too)


As part of a content marketing strategy, a goal of a content producer may be to create content that builds community. We examine this idea with a focus on AlexBrownRacing.

View this 30 minute video: Knowledge at Wharton: Social Media for Social Causes

(another example: The Building Blocks of Community)


  • Galvanized by desire for information
  • Purpose


  • Content marketing
    • Morning update
    • Fair Hill Update
    • Horse racing news
    • Horse welfare news
  • frequency, deliberate and consistent (x3+ per day)
  • transparency
  • signal value: content and timing
  • Growth: viral (updates linked elsewhere on discussion boards etc)& google ads
  • work with media to develop story. Key, not to break news, but to make sure the story is told

Discussion Board

  • Added to foster conversation
  • Initial reluctance of community
  • Folder design shapes dialogue
  • Managing conversations: rules, freedom of speech?
  • Managing conversations: let them develop, do not get involved
  • Managing conversations: listen
  • Viral growth, positive virus
  • Fundraising model, why not centrally controlled?
  • Mission statement: importance for focus
  • Banningand consequences thereof:
    • imposters versus idiots
    • attention seeking behavior
    • Ego, “Greater good” versus the individual
    • for every action there is a reaction (broader consequences of banning)
    • No warning, no public engagement, no idle threats
    • Control over DB content, but not preexisting relationships, e-mail, and other sites
    • Surrogate sites and ICERS
  • Managing factions within the community
    • animal rights versus horse racing
    • rescuing within the slaughter pipeline versus hardcore anti-slaughter
  • Viral growth, positive virus

Additional Social Media Tools (Community architecture)

  • Strategic adoption
  • Experiment, with goals, be prepared to make mistakes
  • Increase reach
  • Increase connectedness of community
  • Brand building
  • Different types of content, reporting (twitter)
  • Target different audiences
  • Wiki
  • Facebook: Group versus Fan page
  • Twitter
  • FlickR
  • YouTube (Horse slaughter contest, a tactic to get wider coverage of issue)
  • Blogtalkradio
  • Book

Horse Slaughter Contest on YouTube

  • Contest, prize as incentive
  • Rules: Viral and google juice
    • Most comments, highest rating, most views
    • Keywords in title, description etc.
  • One month voting period, producers goals
    • Create good content
    • Promote content with their networks
  • PG 13


  • Best Barbaro updates
  • Horse welfare shift
  • Goals re: managing the site, versus the focus of the site
  • Community drives the outcomes, goals of managing the site focus on growing the community

Three different target audiences

  • Fans of Barbaro
  • Horse welfare and horse racing communities more broadly
  • Those interested in the work of Fans of Barbaro, ABR, for example:

Managing the brands

  • Alex Brown Racing
  • Fans of Barbaro
  • Alex Brown

ABR and Fans of Barbaro: A tribe

  • Disrupted the status quo of the horse welfare space
  • Creates tensions with leadership within ABR, how does leadership emerge
  • Tensions between ABR and other horse welfare communities
  • Powerful voice

My role:

  • PR
  • Rule maker, banning usernames
  • Blog: content provider
  • Strategic implementation of social media tools


  • Site design unchanged, design usability learned