Fuel Cycle

A Blueprint for Building a Community Experience with Fuel Cycle

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Written by Jono Bacon, a leading community strategy, management, and execution author, consultant, and speaker.

The best experiences in life are journeys. Disney. A great restaurant. The first level of a video game. A well-run conference. When they are done well, these different examples are genuine experiences that feel curated and carefully designed.

We need the same thing for building a community. This is why I created this, my Community Participation Framework:

It is broken into three key sections: Onboarding, Engagement, and Incentivization.


The part to the left of the star is where we take a person who is brand new, who represents one of our target audience personas, and we help them produce something of value – both to them and the community – as quickly and easily as possible. This value is represented by the star. Onboarding is essential to ensure our community is simple and accessible to join. All of the outreach in the world won’t fix a community that is difficult to get started in!


When they have produced this first piece of tangible value, they are still very new. We now help them to settle in and support their transition between three key states within your community: CasualRegulars, and finally Core.

  • Casual members are new, uncomfortable, and weirded out by the community. They need plenty of mentoring and support.
  • Regular members find the community valuable, but they need their interest maintained and recognized.
  • Core members go above and beyond. They don’t just care about their community experience, they care about everyone else too.


To help grow and maintain participation, we lay a series of incentives and rewards (shown by the little bumps) that help members to stay engaged, develop their experience, produce new skills, and stay motivated.

Importantly, you need to apply the Community Participation Framework to each one of your personas individually. For example, support communities will need a different on-boarding experience and incentives to engineering communities.

Use this framework with your community team, other teams (such as marketing and product), and your execs to have the same view of the community lifecycle. Use the same terminology and get aligned.

Maximize Your Community with Fuel Cycle

Fuel Cycle’s experience management tools allow experience owners to define and measure community engagement, and insights in both qualitative and quantitive measurements directly from their communities.

To learn more about how Fuel Cycle’s experience management platform can help define your community and deliver your team powerful insights into their thoughts and opinions, schedule a demo today.

Want to learn more about the Fuel Cycle platform?