With community efforts, sometimes there is this temptation to offer your members a lot of different touch points with which to enter some form of content.

Not only do we want forums, but we want sections for specific types of content, like reviews, formatted in a different way that fits reviews best. And we want deep user profiles and the ability to comment on profiles. And we want microinteractions, so that people can simply “like” a post without replying to it. Among other things.

These things can all be great, but they are only great if people are actually using them and that can be a challenge. It’s nice to have dedicated sections, for example, but if it having reviews be just forum threads means that there is actually activity, then that has major value.

I run across communities that have things like this enabled simply because they exist in the software or because they were enabled by default. Take the time to weigh how much activity you actually have and how best to showcase it. Don’t enable something just because you can. It’s much better to have one section that is very active, than 2 sections that are generally active and 2 that haven’t had any activity in months.

This is true of platforms, as well. I want a deep presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, 7 niche communities and this other one, too. I don’t want to discourage anyone from using them, but just to be mindful of the fact that it is easy to get overwhelmed and that it is best to engage in fewer areas that you know you can dedicate the time to, than to get burnt out.