An online knowledge community, or one that is clearly from a particular department must be connected into that same department. Community members will quickly lose interest if they think that nobody is listening to and feeding back on what they are saying. They will uncover a community manager who is unable to connect them into the hierarchy or represent the firm in the community.
A real connection is needed to make the most of your online community and this can often mean enacting real change in your department. If you are using it to its full potential, an online community should be a way of getting the user voice deep inside your department. You should be talking about the online community in meetings right up to, and including, the top level meeting. This is the way your users are heard in the department, and the way your department can talk to its users. One of our top Partners never addresses a meeting without mentioning his community area on our intranet. No other site on our intranet can make that claim of such top level support?. Its no surprise its the most visited area on the intranet.