While doing some research for LugIron, a startup here in Austin where I serve in an advisory role, I found a slideshow discussing signs of successful community launches by Joe Cothrel, a VP of service at Lithium.
Now, what they mean by “community” is a larger than 5,000 person audience, enterprise-type (B2B or B2C focused communities), and containing primarily forums and blogs (followed by everything else.) So, it’s not quite the same as the wiki communities that I’ve studied and participated in. But, what’s interesting to me is that one of his Warning signs on page 8 is a quote from the enterprise:
“We want to do a pilot.”
Huh? Really? Wanting to do a pilot is a warning sign of eminent failure? I guess with blogs and forums, you would want full dedication to the efforts and the goals of the community. But with wiki communities, I think a pilot is a great idea. Pilot content, pilot collaborators, pilot wiki.
What do you think? Do wikis fold up easier than forums? Are pilots getting a bad name in corporate-sponsored communities? Is this a case of the vendor wanting full dedication in their sales engagements?