Community is About Being Cost-Effective
One assumption underlying some client conversations I have is that community comes cheap. It may have something to do with the hippy-trippy quality of the word.
Unfortunately, it’s just not true. As the splendid Community Guy notes it can often cost more than some traditional techniques – mainly because there is a start-up stage. But this is really just an investment like any other. One that, over time, will create a valuable asset. However, the classic comment about open source software is highly relevant: "Linux is only free if your time has no value."
Community building is about smart people spending time building relationships in a way that machines will never do. Make no mistake community is all about being cost-effective – not cheap-and-cheerful.