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Good post. But it is important to point out that there are different types of communities with different goals; and different levels of engagement that those communities foster to support those goals. For brands like Coke, the community is not about deep levels of engagement, but rather about highly branded, mostly one-way communication with small doses of customer interaction/feedback. A brand management firm in this case looks for a platform that provides breadth (lots of users to expose messaging to) but little depth (deep interaction and engagement). Facebook is an okay platform for this. It's high on reach, but low on engagement. On the other side of this spectrum are communities that are centered around a niche, interest, or common goal and that therefore have a need for deeper levels of engagement. To support that need, the platform may need to provide features such as privacy/permissions, document collaboration, file-sharing, tagging, following/subscribing, or rating. Regardless of the suite of features these communities need, Facebook is usually not the right platform. To answer the question of what platform to use, you have to first define community and what that means to you, your organization, and your goals. Facebook may be just what you need, or it may be absolutely horrible. But it's not useless, at least not for everyone.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2011 on A Useless Platform at The Online Community Guide
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Sep 29, 2011