By far one of the most common questions we see in the various community circles we hang in is which platform should I use to start my community. The question is particularly vexing because our view is that the platform you use is both one of the most important components of your online community and also doesn't really matter.
While this feels like a contradiction the truth is that there is no single correct answer. Like most important questions in life, the answer is complicated and depends on your specific situation. What is important from a community manager's perspective is understanding the constraints you opt into when you choose a specific platform and what you can do in your role to help fill some of the gaps that are inherent in any platform choice.
Over the next few posts we will do an assessment of some of the more popular community platforms and give our take on which kinds of communities they work best for, what constraints will exist for each decision, and how you as a community manager can work around those constraints to continue to provide the most valuable possible for the members in your community.
Stay tuned, we'll keep this post updated with our assessment of the different platforms