Online communities are darn useful. They provide a place for people of similar interests to come together; they also come in as an information system where you can learn and share a lot. Unlike communities in real life, online communities do not mind about proximity or blood relation. You can create a community with members you barely know but which you have some things in common that could spark up a nice and interesting conversation. Many social media tools are found helpful in building online communities. Basically, you need communication tools such as text-based chat, forum, video text, and avatars.
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Different Online Communities
Online communities may be about a hundred and one things. They could be about moms who come together to share what its like to being moms. They could also be about gamers who rave about a particular game series or genre or whatever. They could also be about a fan base for a specific thing or person or activity. They could also be a specific industry, job post, culture, or just about any niche there is. That’s why there are countless online communities currently in existence. Finding what suits you best is all about examining yourself. What are your interests and which of them you would life sharing with a virtual circle of friends with the same interests.
Becoming a Member
Joining an online community is pretty easy. Sometimes, you just have to register your name or your email. The fact that you have come to a specific online society makes it understood that you have the same interest as those who are already members.
It is different, of course, if you are the one starting out the community. You have got more responsibilities and more work to be done. Instead of just logging in and sharing your insights, you also have to facilitate conversations, start up one that would initiate the rest to follow and just make the flow smooth all around.
Mostly, discussion boards are a common sight in online communities. This is where the members interact with each other and share just about anything they have in mind whether it is about the main topic or just about anything.
Fostering Good Online Community Practice
If you are interested about creating your own web-based communities whether it is about helping others, sharing your interests, or making money, you need to think about the following guidelines:
- The needs of the community come first. Yes, members rule. If you are the facilitator, you have to single out the needs and wants of your members even before you own. To keep people in there, you have to keep them interested and fulfilled.
- You do not need to make a high tech site for this. Your goal is to obtain a far and wide reach as much as possible. To achieve that, you have to be accessible. People with the same interest as yours and the community should b able to conveniently get into the conversation without having to crack any difficult code.
- Proper management is key. Most communities that have failed to flourish are those that are mismanaged big time. If you will not have the time to look after the activities within your site, within your discussion boards and forums, it is best that you delegate managing your online community to someone who is more capable.