Exploring the Elements for Creating an Online Community
When creating an online community, a website owner faces many challenges in regards to the many different elements associated with its construction and development. A successful Internet community is one that utilizes various aspects and techniques of the online world, including chatrooms and effective advertising. After the technical side of things is appropriately dealt with, the beginnings of an online community may start to thrive. All you have to do is sit back and maintain your small slice of the World Wide Web, cultivating useful information for your members to enjoy.
Chatrooms have become a popular tool of the Internet, where the exchange of information is immediate and fulfilling (depending on the amount of people involved). This aspect of an online community is satisfying when a handful of people are involved. When hundreds or even more people congregate in the same chatroom, it is quite difficult to manage the dialogue.
In chatrooms, communication becomes jumbled and many users find it distracting when a it fills with more than 15 to 20 people. It’s like standing in a crowded room with everyone trying to speak at the same time and in the end becomes more time-consuming than enjoyable.
Web boards become an effective part of an online community when there are enough people to read them on a routine basis. It is the typical habit for some to check in on a variety of web boards and very rarely on a daily basis. When not enough people utilize this form of communication – it becomes a waste of space.
Online events are a great way to entice viewers and members of an online community with exciting one-time presentations or showcases. An example of a decent event is displaying a webcast on how to bake a certain dessert for those involved in a cooking forum. Some webmasters also use this mode of contact for two-way moderated events. On the other hand, if these events do not reach a large amount of people, then your efforts are for nothing and the cost of moderation is generally quite pricey. It also requires qualified individuals (or staff) to become a part of the process.
Mailing lists have proven successful in reaching an online community when people are given the chance to exchange, share, and interact with others who share the same interests, beliefs, and goals. It is important to keep in mind that two-way lists containing more than 8 to 10 posts per day can become a real drag – sending repetitive chatter and becoming difficult to read through. When a member directory is used in regards to an online community, their effectiveness depends on their level of search ability. They become useless when difficult to navigate. In many cases, this sort of element is quite time consuming to sift through since people read each member’s name in a one-at-a-time fashion.
An online community without moderation can become quite unruly, but someone needs to be around to answer the questions of members or make sure inappropriate material does not blemish the flow of communication. In some cases, moderation is a volunteer position, while others must spend money to hire people to moderate their online presence. Depending on the size of the community, you could spend a pretty penny on more than one moderator.
One of the most popular ways to entice visitors is to set up discussion groups based on specific interests, which aims to target individual users. With the allure of new threads and discussions, you stand to attract a larger population of interest within your online community.