I launched therodinhoods.com in Nov 2010 via this simple facebook announcement:
Immediately after the launch, I began to write discussions ever so often and invited readers to comment and share their own stories.
It was a slow but steady start.
Most of the content on therodinhoods.com was my stuff. I rarely received content from other people.
All along the journey, I had a dream:
That one day, I would log into therodinhoods.com and see the site filled with content that belonged to everyone else except that of my own!
That dream would give me the ultimate satisfaction of having created a truly social 'community' that lived by its members, for its members and of its members.
Well, this afternoon, when I logged on, this is what I saw:
The discussion section had just 1 article written by me:
The blog section had no blog written by me!
Today, my dream has come true!
I could not have imagined this!
Having seen this amazing day, let me share the 5 most important lessons learnt in curating and building a social community:
1. Be focussed on what you know best (it doesn't matter if the subject is esoteric like entrepreneurism or business)
The right people will come and flock your site and make the community extremely rich with their presence and experience!
2. Write as often as you can, but only on what you know.
I write only on subjects that I know and I can contribute to. I don't touch anything else. This is what makes people come back and also helps others to write on their topic of expertise.
3. Be open in admitting mistakes, faux pas, blunders.
I have made some atrocious mistakes on this site. I wrote positively about Carol Bartz initially and then did a volte-face. I wrote a sick article about Hyderabad and got screwed. I wrote some nonsensical BS about Gandhiji that really earned me insults.
I admitted all these mistakes and even pulled down some of the posts. But in doing so, I earned the respect of the community!
4. Encourage meets, greets and some personal interaction.
People love to physically meet and greet the folks they have e-mailed and interacted with and have been following or fighting with!
5. Be honest about the intent.
I do not want to make money from this site. I do not want to sell my company or do sick PR. I even forbid my editor - Asha from allowing any 2win content to be featured.
I host this site as Good Karma to 'give back' what I have learnt as an entrepreneur and also to come across great entrepreneurs and companies that I can become part of, as their investor and guide.
Thank you for being a part of this wonderful dream and hope you create a social network of your own!
UPDATE: This reply below BLEW MY MIND!!
Brilliantly Nailed :) I'm privileged to be connected to Alok Sir via his blogs, facebook updates. He is the SAMRAAT of social media. Alok sir is the rarest of the rare breed born luckily. Sirjee, you are the man behind inspiring this 19-year old lad who took unconventional steps and became successful!
India badly needs an entrepreneur forum. We're reaching there.
Love to read your and other posts at Rodinhood And I am very very proud to be a Rodinhood.
Thanks for sharing all the amazing takes you have on various topics.. Those are truly pure pleasure to read.. And, as far as being a part of this community, it's such a great knowledge pool... Thanks for creating this... Have a great afternoon ahead....
Alok i love your knowledge, its very in-depth .... i am also amazed by the effort & mental space you have for rodinhoods.com
1) we are blue blooded entrepreneurs - Vyapari Log - ( Gujju / Madus ) - so there is business in everything we do - this perception is a part of us since ages, dont try & fight that. Even if you are running this community as a pseudo-incubator - which by the way is shamelessly business!! - i still think you can do it as you are excellent at it. I have seen people w/o an iota of e-comm gyaan opening incubators.
2) Good Karma se yaad aaya - sir, DROP YOUR EGO!! not that it kills me, but you can be a much better sould w/o that, you are fab guy you deserve good karma!
3) Also, since i know you study osho - dont be ultra judgmental....this can give you even more people for your community.
AT the end - i really like you & what you have done for yourself. Keep following what you see as right...
PS: i hope you wont release a "fatwa" for my head after reading this..
Cheers!! - hj
I definitely have learnt a thing or two from this forums Alok, so big to you and members of this place for making it the place it is today.
What's a man without a few good vices huh?! :-)
Congrats Alok !
I very well relate to your dream and I am sure these lessons will help me during my journey :)
Thanks for sharing all your gyaan and wisdom! Truly appreciate that you take the time out to share. I hope more women will get into entrepreneurship and be a part of the Rodinhoods!
Hi Alok, Initially I was critical about your comments but as an entrepreneur done wonderful job. Once again hats off for creating Rodinhood a networking platform.
wow! many many congrats siddharth!!!!! way to go :)