I have grown a few online communities in the past and I noticed that if you are trying to plug a service or increase awareness of something through an online community, you also need to track a few metrics.

For example on yahoo groups, I not only cared about the number of members but also how many exited during a particular time period.

So which metrics do you care when growing a Page on Facebook or some other online community?

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Good question. I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. As far as metrics, I focus primarily on the following:

Metrics that can be measure objectively:

  • Registration/Add rates
  • Retention rates
  • Response rates
  • Referral rates
  • Traffic volume

Metrics that cannot be measured objectively:

  • Quality responses/posts. (This is actually very important to me.)

But the question is a bit broad. I should mention that I tend to focus more on forums and communities. I suppose a lot of these can apply to social networking sites as well.

These are good metric recommendations. Thanks. I also would like to add, assessing the sentiment of the comments - whether its positive, neutral, non relevant, or negative. But this measure is very qualitative.

there are many good communities like webhostingtalk, sitepoint and digitalpoint etc

I never heard of those communities. I have to check them out.

I can't have a definite answer to this question,, as for me each community has his peculiarities,,,, for example when in Digg I pay attention to the member's registration date,last login, friend count,,,, individually for each community!!!!!!!!

Thinking in terms of sites like DaniWeb, one metric that would be important would be number of new discussion threads started on a daily and weekly basis as well as response rates to threads. It is all about healthy discussion and interaction among the members.

It is not only quantity but quality. Growing an online community requires constant care as well as encouraging others to do the same as well.

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