Online Community advice from Matthew Parsons of Travel Trade Gazette

A lot of publications and businesses in general use online communities as a way to promote their business and increase their hold in their chosen field’s market.

Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) is a successful weekly B2B magazine for travel agents. It provides travel news, updates and features that are of interest and use to the reader.

When I carried out a work placement with TTG, Matthew Parsons the Chief Sub-Editor who also does a lot of work on their website told me how important it was to have an online presence. He said that to do this building an online community that trust and use you as their key internet source was essential.

And his advice on how to do this?

Read about online communities- understand the ideas behind the concept. He suggested a book that’s available free online as the key to success.

The Art of CommunityBuilding the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon

The book sets out 7 key objectives and tells you how to meet each: think of these as the 7 commandments of online communities

– Develop a sttrategy, with specific objectives and goals for building your community

– Build simple non bureaucratic processes to help your community perform tasks, work together and share successes

– Provide tools and infrastructure to help contributors work quickly

– Create buzz around your community to get more people involved

– Track the community’s work so it can be optimized and simplified

– Explore a capable, representative governance for your strategy

– Identify and manage conflict, including dealing with diverse possibilities

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