Every website, every web community, and many organizations essentially rest on two pillars:content & community
Many blogs and sites fail because they neglect the value of either the content or the community. The two must work hand in hand. Many social sites organize content around the community and many traditional sites organize community around the content, but this is a spectrum. A great content site attracts a relevant community. A great community site generates relevant organic content. Depending on the nature of the community, there is sometimes a great demand for leadership. For instance, if the content revolves around something controversial like politics, there is much more need for moderation and protocols so things won’t spiral out of control (as internet discussion often do). If your community is mostly interested in cat videos, there is less to fight about. It takes some top level awareness of the group trends to set appropriate protocols and moderation standards.
I love this quote from the 9/11 Commission Report. It really hits the nail on the head: