Enterprise 2.0: The Value of Online Communities

The trend of building online Communities of Practices and Customer Communities is an important trend I’ve been watching (and leading/participating in) for a number of years.  I often get asked:  What is the business value of online communities? 

Unfortunately community platforms are lacking tools for community leaders that would allow us to track and measure the impact that these communities have on business results.  So it is a very subjective measurement today.  Note to community platform vendors:  Community Leaders need better dashboard tools.

I have established a graphic that I use to explain the power of communities and the value it can generate to an enterprise.  The story line to the graphic goes something like this:  Community Participation leads to increased Enterprise Knowledge, which leads to improved Organizational Capabilities, which results in positive Business Value for enterprises.  

Here’s my stab at a graphic (Note:  Click on the picture to enlarge and reformat)

Value of Communities

(Click on picture to enlarge) 

Do you have any better graphics, reports, or slide decks that illustrate the business value of communities?  If so, please let me know!   For some resources I’ve uncovered on the value and ROI of social media and online communities, check out my previous post:  Learning About The ROI of Social Media and Online Communities