From families to friendships, we share experiences and collaborate with groups. Our attachments to those groups ,strong or weak ,weave the fabric of association and community. Building Online Community provides real-world communities, a common place to come together with the help of the Internet world. This is for people who need an easier and more accessible way to get together and share their experience . It can act as an information platform where members can post, comment on discussions, give advice or collaborate and much more thing to do. We can assume it as a virtual home with invisible friends and family members.
Important factors that help to build online community
There are three important processes that are needed to build online community successfully
First and foremost thing that is needed is authentication i.e we have to personalize by registering or logging in into the community. We are living in a new world as far as communication is concerned and your intentions need to be crystal, especially in social media.
This may mean via email or message or chat or in person OR in social media. Accessibility is a key for an online community to take off and truly be social, people have to know that you exist, that you’re a person and that you care about them
Finally, you need to be adaptable. It’s all about to adapt as technology evolves. Technology is changing very frequently and so you need to be active.
An online community is not built or befriended, it is connected by offering and accepting. Today there are lots of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. that promote online community for business, college, university, etc. Even we have many mobile apps available in the market for creating the online community like Twitter, LinkedIn, SocialAPI- connect.collaborate.communicate which help to be active and accessible to the members of the community from almost anywhere and at any time, whether it’s computer games enthusiastic discussing strategy, guitar players trading advice on the latest gear or cancer survivors sharing their experiences and supporting each other.
Online user communities can be a powerful force for businesses too. A wide range of companies, from software giant to tax services provider H&R Block , have built vibrant online communities. Companies with active communities focused on their products tend to enjoy higher brand credibility, corporate integrity, and customer loyalty.
Pros and Cons of Online Community
- Interact with people of different communities from all over the world at a common place.
- Get much helpful information related to business , technology, etc.
- Improved marketing campaign development, effectiveness, and amplification
- Provides real-time market research and consumer intelligence
- Give different views on same topics which help to understand the topic from every aspect.
- Provides an easy way to express your views to many people.
- Unclear distinction between private and public information.
- Predominantly relies on inputting text which can be challenging for those who don’t like to write or have poor keyboard skills.
- without facial expressions and gestures or the ability to retract immediately, there’s a big risk of misunderstanding.
- Sometimes online communities tend to be online harassment, meaning threatening or offensive content aimed at known friends or strangers through ways of online technology.
In business or socially, online communities have the power to create lasting and productive relationships where none existed before. It allows to access to a wealth of information and helps us to get the support we didn’t know we needed , through the forums, posting questions and by participating in discussions. In the future, in many different forms, I believe that online communities will become a greater part of our lives.
There are various readily available solutions which allow you to create your online community for your passion, hobby or social cause. Some of the popular online community platforms are Socialengine, Phpfox , Oxwall and BuddyPress which allow you to build online community infrastructure in minutes.