Conquer the newcomer problem by dividing people into groups of 150, suggests Richard Millington, online community builder. This is to literally dividie into 150-strong cells. This could work, depending on the niche involved, but if they don’t like the idea of being divided in this way (ie its counter-cultural) then maybe not. Forrester’s social technographic profile tool, using 2008 data, below could be useful for this if they could suck in more granular data say for individual professions?
Two views & one after thought on this. Firstly, that from a wider community perspective many small communities make a larger community. And this is true of the offline world. Plus from individual pov the influence of person with membership of many small communities can equal that of a person with a few large communities (see earlier post). This in turn crosses over to Forresters recent social techographic point from the groundswell blog that user metrics can be counted across social networks, not just within one network — ie the obverse point about the power of overlap compared to division in community strategy.
Of course simply treating each customer (aka community member) with care can also do wonders!