There are many fun opportunities to send your members away from your community.

Let me rephrase that.

There are many fun activities that your members can participate in together, away from your community, that will strengthen their ties – to each other and to your community.

Don’t focus so much on keeping people on your site (time spent on page) to the point where you overlook ways to connect your members off of it. Especially in off-topic areas where your members are passionate.

For many years, I participated in fantasy sports leagues with community members or with other social groups I was a part of. If a group of members talks a lot about sports, it makes perfect sense. You can create a “YourSite League,” and they can discuss the league on your community in a dedicated thread.

I had the idea for a movie club after participating in some movie discussions in my forums. What if all members watched a particular movie on Netflix and then discussed it? One movie every week. It could be Amazon Prime, Crackle or any other legal streaming service.

If your community is large enough, it’s quite possible that your members have already started doing things like this. But if not, it may just take a starting push. Once you get it going, you might be able to pass the baton to a member who really enjoys the activity.

When we think about keeping people on our communities, sometimes we’re worried about competition. If that’s you, the great thing about these types of activities is that you probably aren’t competing with a Yahoo! Fantasy Sports or Netflix. People are going to do those use those services regardless, and it doesn’t take away from your community.

But when people break out into these groups and they leave, so that they come back and talk about what they just did, it makes the bond even stronger.