Your developer community provides tremendous value to both you and your users. Whether you want to use your community as a developer marketing tool, to create advocates, or to provide “freemium” advanced support to your users, there are several elements that are present in every successful community.
Value in the community lifecycle is tricky to measure. Value and how you define it depends on what stage of the lifecycle your community is in. It is ever-changing, from first launch to growth to maturity. You need to prove the value of your community if you want it to stick around and more importantly, grow.
If you’re spending the money for an enterprise level developer community solution, you need to make sure you optimize the ROI you get from it. The first steps are setting objectives, ensuring you have great content, and making sure you’re engaging all of your members.
If your company is like most, the workplace is growing more diverse, an enormous advantage as you bring different and unique points of view, cultures, and ideologies together to achieve a common goal. Companies today look to utilize innovation, collaboration, and transparency in order to achieve strategic objectives. The diversity of perspectives yields greater resources applied to the problem or situation. The question is not should we encourage greater participation; it’s what is the best way to do so effectively?
DZone Recognized Among Fastest Growing Private Companies for Fifth Consecutive Year by Inc. Magazine
DZone Inc.,provider of online communities that empower developers, proudly announced today it has been named No. 2887 on the Inc. Magazine list of 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.
You’ve identified the need for a developer community solution, you may be evaluating vendor options, seeing who best solves the problems you’ve identified. The question now becomes, “How do I sell this to my company and get buy in from senior leadership?” The most important thing to have prepared before you go to leadership is a well-developed plan with data to back up your ideas, specifically focused around ROI.
There are two things every company tries to do whenever they are looking at purchasing a new tool, raise the bottom line by reducing costs, or increase their top line by increasing sales. The main problem we see with people researching community software is a lack of focus in what they want the product to do, and what business objectives they want to accomplish. Before moving forward with a solution, you need to ask yourself what your goals are, and can this tool help me accomplish those goals?
Once you recognize the need for a developer community, the next step is putting together a list of wants and needs for your community. We created the following list of things every great developer community needs.
Ideation, in terms of community, can be a useful tool on several fronts. It can motivate employees helping them feel appreciated when others vote for their ideas. It can also be used to increase engagement, ensuring your developers stay in your community and continue to grow. Most importantly, it can be the driver of your product development as your community suggests new uses and features they would like to see.
There are countless free and inexpensive options if someone is looking for a Q&A solution for their teams. Heck, the founder of AnswerHub is the same person who developed OSQA (open source Q&A). Why did he revisit the solution and turn it into a paid solution then? The answer isn’t just that he wanted to make money (although that’s always nice).