Note that we’re talking here about communities that are still intended for the public. You may have internally facing communities intended for collaboration and project work, which we’ll look at in the next chapter.
In addition to the headaches of setting up and running a community platform, you’ll also need to convince others to join you. If you can manage to get your customers and fans to use a community that you run, you’ll have an important asset for your organization. You’ll also have unbeatable insight into the community’s behavior. Best of all, you’ll be able to tie community activity back to business outcomes, such as viral spread, contribution, purchases, and so on.
There are a number of open source and commercial mailing list servers. majordomo and GNU mailman are both mature listserv implementations, and while you can configure Microsoft’s Exchange Server to support and run mailing ...