As a book blogger who has struggled to create a more interactive blog I can tell you that building an active community is not an easy task. One obvious statistic that many will look at even if it may not be an accurate measurement is number of comments on a blog post. This doesn’t show how many users actually read the post or found it useful because many won’t leave a comment but it’s something that is easy for others to view.
However, on the other side you can also face the problem of the over active anonymous users who may leave a flood of comments that are unhelpful or even hurtful. As Grohol mentions in Anonymity and Online Community the anonymity possible online allows people to hide behind their computer and make more hurtful comments without much fear of ramifications.
Finding a good balance between the two extremes takes work and an active community manager. That person needs to make people feel welcome in the community and comfortable asking their questions or making a comment. They also need to try to keep hurtful comments in check while also not being to over bearing in their presence.
The time commitment required for building a successful community is one aspect I feel many organizations underestimate. Many feel like simply posting content is enough to make a community active but in a majority of the cases this is untrue. These groups also need to realize that building an active community isn’t a quick task and they should not get discouraged early on.