While interest in online communities may be on the rise, for some (including myself a month ago) the concept might need a little bit of explaining.
Q: What is an online community?
A: An online community is a group of people with interests in common who use the internet to communicate, get to know each other and work together.
Q: What are some examples of online communities?
A: Online communities are everywhere on the internet. Facebook has the biggest online community while other online communities include comment forums on news/magazine sites, blog readers and specific interest internet forums.
Q: Why is it important to manage your online community?
A: If an online community becomes unhappy with the site that hosts them they may well leave that site. Members of online communities are quite fluid as they don’t have too heavy ties with any host site. This means it is important to make sure you’re community is happy- otherwise they might leave you!
Q: Any particular reason members of an online community would become unhappy?
A: This could happen for many reasons. One example is if the members felt ignored or if they disapproved of things happening on the host site. For example, the online community that is the discussion forum on the Guardian website might see members leaving if the pages were filled with racist comments that the Guardian didn’t remove.
Q: How can I make my online community a happy one?
A: Read this blog regularly!