Mr Hotspur Otoole has some insightful words about what it takes to build community:
I’ve been involved in many organizations in the real world– clubs, hobby organizations, academic organizations, lodges, professional organizations, recreational groups, church groups, charity groups. Much like the rest of us. I’ve seen what seems to keep groups thriving and what does not work as well. As virtual worlds are really just real societies with a computer graphics overlay, as it were, I’m not at all surprised to see that the organizational patterns that tend to succeed in RL also tend to succeed in SL, and the reverse is true as well. People are people, after all, and they interact in similar ways in virtuality as they do in reality.
Go read the whole thing. It’s well worth your time.