At work, I am realizing that one of the projects that I have connections with is being built in such a way that community is the focus over content, and this scares me because as soon as the interaction in the community stops, for any reason, the traffic will also stop. Building a following on Facebook and Twitter will have nearly no long term effect on the growth and development of the website.
In fact, I believe that the time being spent on populating these third part sites with content actually takes away from the main website as it reduces the usefulness of the site, and changes the Facebook page into the destination rather than the live website that took almost a year to build out.
I wouldn’t be so bothered if the community building was happening on the main site, and while there aren’t as many tools for community building on the main site, I still feel like there is tons of waste occurring. If even one percent of the interaction was moved from Facebook to the main site, then we’d have dozens more comments on the pages, adding to the content on the page, making pages “updated” in the eyes of search engines and potentially increasing rankings over the long term.
I definitely think there needs to be time spent on both community and content, but I also believe that great content is better than developing community, especially if that community resides on third party services and sites.
Just my two cents…