Everyone's bulding communities online these days. Including, it must be confessed, a blogger not unconnected with this blog, who is ambitiously building several of the little tykes.
So, all ye communitists, here are a few insights from Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr.
The interesting thing about acquisitions of this kind is that you can't just suddenly build a community. You can't just go out and replicate all of the features and functionality of something you've seen, it doesn't really work that way.
The most difficult part is not the technology but actually getting the people to behave well. When first starting the community the Flickr team were spending nearly 24 hours online greeting each individual user, introducing them to each other and cultivating the community. After a certain point you can let go and the community will start to maintain itself, explains Caterina. People will greet each other and introduce their own practices into the social software. It's always underestimated, but early on you need someone in there everyday who is kind of like the host of the party, who introduces everybody and takes their coat.
The rest of the interview on .net magazine is here.