Challenges to Building Community

Almost anyone with a website or blog seeks to build an active community. The challenge for these individuals and organizations is to build a place where readers and users will want to participate. This is not an easy task. There are so many online communities out there competing and clamoring for your attention that you can usually be very picky in who you choose to engage. This means that those who are creating these communities must find ways to stand out while being relevant.

A few things to consider:

  • Is this online community necessary? There are so many dead and defunct communities out there that simply did not meet a need and therefore never gathered active participation.
  • Do you have the time necessary to devote to generating new content as well as actively participating in other, similar, communities? One of the things I’ve learned from my own experiences blogging is that if I want to generate traffic to my own blog, I must comment, comment, comment on other blogs of the same genre to actively engage other people like myself. If you just create a web site or blog and don’t actively try to generate participation, no one will know it’s there.
  • Is there someone out there doing what you want to do, only better? If your target is a specific demographic that’s already being targeted, you have to make sure you’re doing something the other communities aren’t already doing – otherwise, what’s the incentive to engage with you?
These are only a few of the challenges one faces when building an online community, but they are big ones to overcome.

Posted on November 8, 2011, in LIBR 246 Web 2.0 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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