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Good Reasons to End

It’s clear that there can be some good reasons to end a community. Here are a few:

  1. The site is not meeting your personal needs. Communities are always in flux. Many times, the idea you start out with evolves as more people get involved. If the main idea of the site has changed beyond your comfort or interest level, it may be time to end. (Here’s where passing the torch to a new leader may be the right choice.)

  2. The site is not meeting the community’s needs. Perhaps you’re still happy with the site’s direction, but it just hasn’t attracted the audience you hoped for. Again, there are avenues open to you here. Perhaps you need more attractive content. Or your audience is out there, but they just haven’t found your site yet. Or your tools are too complicated, so they’re discouraging participation. If you’ve tried to solve these problems with no success, you may be out of luck. (A community site for people who don’t use computers will never find its audience, for example.)

  3. You’re just not interested anymore and no one else is, either. If you get the feeling that you could take down the site tomorrow and no one would care, that may be an excellent reason to do so. But remember to ask your community first! They say that fish don’t know they’re wet—you may be too close to it to see its value. Remember to get some outside advice before you pull the plug.

  4. Money. A popular site can get expensive. Good servers and fat pipes don’t come cheap. If you don’t have the financial resources to keep your site up, ask your users for help. Many communities have pitched in to buy new servers in times of need. But this can be a temporary fix. If the money runs out, you may have to close up shop.

  5. No one says communities have to last forever. Community sites can be built around specific events. Aweb community devoted to discussing a hot new movie will wane when the next hot new movie comes along. There’s nothing wrong with letting the site die gracefully, as the need for it fades.


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