Introduction: Are the Fundamentals Still Enough for Viable Communities? This started as a review request at The Admin Zone (TAZ), but I think it could be a broader topic. Having spent years as a forum administrator, I've developed a general understanding of "the fundamentals" of launching a community. These include a clear brand/niche, a consistent flow of unique content, an aesthetically pleasing theme, intuitive and feature-rich software, a healthy backend (hosting, domain, etc.), best SEO practices, friendly staff, social media marketing, etc. The Questions Are these fundamentals still enough to launch a community? Is there still space for new communities? Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I think that my newest community features many of the fundamentals. For example: Clear brand/niche: news and community for nerds! Original, engaging content is created daily by our many talented writers Our brand and site are beautiful The software is integrated stylistically and technologically (WordPress + XenForo) We have a dedicated box and own multiple variations of our domain We've hired an SEO expert We have a team of around 30 people, including experienced community staff We promote all stories to our social media outlets . . . and yet, no growth Is my hubris coloring my ability to spot a fatal flaw? Or is this community anecdotal evidence that "the fundamentals" just aren't enough anymore? Epilogue: The Review Request Text Generally, what I posted as the review request on TAZ. Board Title: The Noobist Community Board URL: http://noobist.com/community Launch date: February 2013 Number of members: 189 Number of Posts: 2,835 Custom style?: Yes Software: WordPress + XenForo Related Sites: Website: http://noobist.com Media: http://noobist.tv Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheNoobist Twitter: https://twitter.com/noobistnews Google+: http://plus.google.com/ Noobist Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/thenoobist YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/NoobistNews LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-noobist The Noobist (http://noobist.com) publishes headline news on technology, entertainment, and gaming, as well as op-eds, interviews, reviews, and fan fiction, all served with a heaping spoonful of nerdy. Every post auto-creates a discussion thread with an excerpt from the story. These discussion threads are linked to the original WordPress post for seamless integration: when someone comments on a WordPress post, their linked forum account replies to the discussion thread; when someone replies to the discussion thread, their linked WordPress posts a comment on the WordPress story. I've been a TAZ member for quite some time and managed communities as large as 1.7 million posts. Clear brand, fresh content, large team, unique perspective, social media marketing, we've taken all the basic steps. What can we do to improve? And why do you think we're not seeing community growth, despite our publishing growth?