Why No Community Features?

A friend of mine asked me that question as I was redesigning this site. At first I thought he was right, why not? But the more I pondered that question all I came back to was a multi-faceted no.

I’m a big believer in the power of community. I think a lot of organizations that are afraid of it need to embrace it or risk falling by the wayside. But I also believe that fragmenting a discussion detracts from the value of a group.

I’m referring most specifically to commenting. I am using some social features in the loosest sense if you count Feedburner among those. I won’t say you won’t ever see more of that here, but I have some pretty specific reasons for holding off:

  • I am pretty active in a few discussion groups already, I would rather take my points to those groups than bring them here. I would rather make the groups I already belong to and share with stronger by my participation.
  • Speaking from experience, managing a community is a task that can very quickly balloon way out of control. It’s probably wishful thinking that it would go that far, but once the precedent is set it’s extremely hard to strip features out and justify it to your users.

I can’t say it will always be that way, but for now discussion is taking place elsewhere. If you really have something you want to share the contact info is pretty clear on this site.