Fact: 90% of users won't contribute anything. But without them your community dies. Taking w/out contributing is part of ecosystem
- Foster a sense of belonging. The online community should support social as well as educational activities.
- A place to learn. This should allow people to learn by watching as well as by contributing - it is possible to over-emphasize the value of contributing.
- Effective contributors. Different levels of participation possible but as people become more comfortable in a community, they may grow into being effective contributors. (See Salmon's Five Stage Model.)
- Creative users. The online community should free people to be creative, not constrain them to one way of working.
- Help rather than hinder. If the online tool gets in the way of learning, find a better tool! See the cartoon above - the tray is supposed to help you, not add to your burdens.