Over the past few decades, the concept of an online community lifecycle has been developed by academics and refined by practitioners, but there still isn’t a single agreed upon lifecycle. Some focus heavily on the launch period and others are not associated with any metrics. This is what prompted FeverBee to dig into the subject and redefine The Online Community Lifecycle based upon initial research by Leroy and Irriberi and their own experience. The result is an lifecycle that can be recognized as a progression through four phases: inceptionestablishmentmaturity, and mitosis. Tied to each phase of the lifecycle is an objective, specific tasks, and data-based indicators of development. Watch the recording of Richard Millington's presentation below to learn more.

Online communities develop along a relatively fixed path. They start small and steadily grow larger, and they have different needs at each of these various stages. If you've watched the video, you now know how to measure the progress of a community and use those measurements to identify what you should be doing in your community. Your goal, and the goal of every community manager, is to progress your community through the lifecycle. If you achieve this, you maximize what your community can be, the benefit it brings to your organization, and the benefits that members gain from the community. 

  • What phase of the community lifecycle is your community in?
  • What activities do you prioritize, and have these priorities shifted over time?
  • Does The Online Community Lifecycle align with your understanding and experience? Is there anything you would add?

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