On Wednesday 12 May 2010, little over ten weeks after our low-key launch at Ecobuild, we signed up our 1,000th member of tCn – The Construction Network (a landmark, by the way, that puts us ahead of the Building magazine network that was launched four months earlier).
However, we know that signing up lots of people is only a small part of the story (you often hear that lots of people join Twitter, for example, but only a relatively small proportion become regular users). It’s quality, not quantity that really matters – and here I don’t mean just the quality of the people (although that is important too; post).
Our main objective is to make tCn into a place that industry professionals will use regularly as part of their business networking.The real value of tCn will come from having lots of regular, active participation in discussions and other network activities, learning from each other, making new contacts and identifying new business opportunities.
With this in mind, we have been busy improving the tCn website. This is, as I freely admit to potential new tCn partners, a never-ending task – a bit like the proverbial painting of the Forth Rail Bridge (apt for a construction-related venture!). Running an online community requires constant development of new features and functionality. We have to respond to user feedback; we have to listen to ideas from new commercial partners; and we need to monitor the latest hardware and software developments that will impact our website design and functionality.
This process is ongoing, and the outputs from our latest efforts will soon become clear. If they help our users become more active and regular, then the tCn community will be more vibrant and dynamic, and I think this will – in turn – help persuade others that it’s worth joining tCn. Future blog posts might well then focus on levels of tCn user interactivity and engagement rather than on simple headline metrics.