Building online communities

  • Online communities such as Facebook and LinkedIn are part of the structure of our lives. They inform both our online and offline behaviours and permeate many areas of our lives that would have seemed unimaginable perhaps even five years ago. I'm a part of the new Imzy platform, for example, which aims to be a more postiive and generous space than some of the 'wild west' platforms like Twitter and Facebook. 

    The challenge (and interest for me) lies in community building. How do we ensure a new platform such as Probably42 grows, thrives and fulfills its purpose? How do we stake out its claim as a unique online space and encourage others to come join it? 

    Importantly also, how will Probably42 attract users from all walks of life and different ages? What elements will bind diverse people together on the platform and keep them anchored to the site? 

    I would argue that some of those key elements will include accessible processes and design which are attractive to all ages and useful content which keeps people engaged. Crucially, people also need to feel valued and have a sense of purpose in that space. 

    So it would be useful to begin a conversation about building online communities in a world of multiplying digital forums, platforms and web groups.