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Plan 9 from Outer Space, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Office Space...great cult movies like these can be a role models for your online community.



But wait, you say, my community is for business.  It's serious. We talk about important things, not Martian invaders.


That's the thing.  If you want your community to thrive, you must think about it in terms of how to bring together the same kind of passionate core group that cult movies create.  

Don't you want your community to be so powerful that people will dress up and stay out past midnight like it's a Rocky Horror showing?


Key characteristics of a cult movie and great online community


Longevity - Over time, it just keeps getting better and better. It may start out with a small following, but as time goes by, the group grows.


People keep returning - I've seen Office Space more than 10 times. Seeing it over and over again feels comfortable and I keep discovering new things I laugh at.


It has insider cachet and inside jokes - If I say "nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" there are certain people who will laugh knowingly. The best communities have just the right amount of insider-ness.  That's the stuff relationships are built upon.


Only certain people "get it" - Plan 9 was, by all accounts, the worst movie of all time. For some people, that's a badge of honor.  Great communities have outsiders who scoff at their popularity.  If you try to appeal to everyone, you'll appeal to no-one.


It unites people with a passion - If you've ever been to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, you know about passion. Your community needs to inspire the type of craziness that will make people wear a trashbag in public. Even if it's an accounting community.  Really.


It's argue-worthy - Cult movies and great communities are worth talking about.  Excited discussion (or arguments) bring new attention, possibly new members of the tribe, and keep existing members interested.


What's your favorite cult movie?


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.


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  • office_space_movie: Make your community like a cult movie

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