KarateForums.comKarateForums.com hit 500,000 posts yesterday. When I started the community, 12 years, 5 months and 3 days ago, I had no idea how proud of it I would become.

When I sit back and take a breath and think about where it’s been, plenty of memories flash by. Happy moments, challenging moments. But more than anything else, it’s the people who have made a difference. Not all the people, just the great ones. Most people are a blur, but the great ones stand out.

The number is awesome, but the number isn’t the thing. The thing is the culture and then the numbers fill that in. I’ve never been all that bothered with numbers, but I suspect I cared more about them when I started managing communities nearly 14 years ago. The thrill of watching the numbers. Posts per day, unique visitors, active members, new members, bounce rate, whatever it is. As I’ve matured, that has changed. Numbers are still cool and useful, but they aren’t what community is about.

New community managers fall in love with numbers. Veterans fall in love with people.