A successful program requires a strong governance program and a successful governance program requires a strong and flexible framework that defines guidelines and practices.  A collaboration community is no different.  The framework provides the foundational and structure to support the governance of the community and must be maintained and thoughtfully revised to meet changing requirements.  This framework supporting the collaboration community requires a strong process to ensure the changes to the industry are institutionalized as appropriate and when appropriate without overwhelming the community.

Successful governance of a collaboration community is a tight rope act in this age of the cloud.  The environment and tools are changing so quickly that it must be a key focus to stay abreast of the changes.  The changing technologies, tools and services are critical to the collaborative social network.  Your community members are a very fickle group you run the risk of losing the participation if you do not constantly upgrade and improve your capabilities.  The silver lining related to this requirement is that you can leverage the tools and services offered through the cloud to support the constant change and improvements.

The technology environment governance is important to the success of your community but the governance of the community participation is even more critical.  Your governance program must must protect the members of the community without overpowering and turning people off from participation.  The community must be protected from the trolls and the inappropriate behavior without overpowering and discouraging participation.  The participation type of governance should also encourage and include the participation of the community members.  This will promote the participation and the sense of community ownership of the members.  This type of governance is another tightrope act, you want to protect the community and you also want to promote open participation and creativity in participation.  This type of governance will require the greatest investment in focus and time from your social networking team and these efforts need to be a full time requirement to ensure the quality of the community. 

Community governance is a very important aspect to the success of the collaboration community from three aspects; technology, safety of the members and the reputation of the hosts (in this case the retailer).  The key investment for success is the time and focus of the team supporting the governance.  Cloud technology and services provide a great framework for the infrastructure required to support the community.  The investment in time will require an increase in resources internally and then a plan for encouraging the participation of the community.  These investments in time and the governance framework will help to grow your community and this in turn will generate repeat customers, which is the key to success in the future of consumer shopping.

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?