App Communities: The How & Why

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 10:27 AM

This week we have a guest author on the orkut developer blog. Sugumaran Uppili, from the Games2win team, will share some insights on how to use orkut communities to interact with your users and market your app...

Slapster began as an idea scribbled on a piece of paper, and now orkut users all over the site are totally slapping each other silly. At Games2win, we said to ourselves, “Hey! A whole lotta people enjoy Slapster. Let’s get them together and have a party!” Thus, the Official Slapster Community was born.

We didn’t have many Slapster users jumping on in the couple of weeks, but once we decided to included a link in our application to join the community we started to see thousands of users join. Now with more than 70,000 users in the Official Slapster community, all I have to say is "The more the merrier!"

The community has proven to be helpful in more than one way. What started out as an exercise in simply bringing people who like Slapster together, soon turned into a means for connecting to our users. They started telling us what they liked about Slapster, what they didn’t like, what could be improved. The community also gave us a channel for sharing news about our next project: Crapster! When Crapster was ready to launch users in the Slapster community were excited to see our latest offering! Crapster gained popularity quickly, proving that communities make great marketing tools as well.

So here’s a step by step guide to building and using communities as ways to promote your own apps and having fun while you’re at it:

  1. Get yourself a killer app ;)
  2. Create a community on orkut and invite everyone you know. In simple words, you have your horn, now blow it. Be sure to let everyone know that your community is the authentic, official one.
  3. Place a link to the community on the app info page and also inside the app. This will make it easier for people to find your community and establish it as the official one.
  4. Once you have people in your community you have to keep them busy. Start fun topics, polls, conversations, anything under the sun and have fun while you’re at it. In the midst of all the fun, you can also ask users what new features the app could use or what changes they would like to see.

So there you have it. The magic, not-so-secret, formula to a successful community for your app. Hope it helps :)


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