Week 4: My understanding of an ‘online community’

My Understanding of an online community is a virtual place or page where people come to connect and share interests or work together in many different scenarios. These can go from an online community solely created for leisure and fun to a community built to gain a better understanding in a certain industry or for a certain product.

In my opinion the characteristics of an online community, or the characteristics an online community should have are as follows;

Engagement
The community should have engagement and interaction from or with everyone who is involved. If there was no engagement from members what would be the point of having the community in the first place?

Conversations
Of course the community should have conversations, not just formal or un-formal posts on the subject or subjects. Real engaging conversations, which, in my opinion makes people feel more at home and comfortable within the community.

Culture
A community should not be limited to a single narrow audience. It should share culture and expand its community by giving users a means to engage in a completely different culture and find out what others think about the same interests from all walks of life.

Relevant Content
This is fairly straight forward. There needs to be relevant content in the community to stay on track and keep the users from dispersing to a different community.

Member Rating
I believe having a member rating in an online community is a good way to encourage users to contribute good content, sort of like a reward system. Having a member rating also gives other users of the community a way to search the higher and more intelligent users for any more serious questions or feedback they have.

Administration
Administration is always needed in online communities to prevent the content from becoming toxic and keep members posting with relevant information. This is also used to ensure there are penalties on users who abuse the system or other members eg. trolling, posting ads on website, posting disallowed content.

The 6 characteristics listed above are some of the main characteristics of an online community. Without the following characteristics it would be difficult to keep a successful online community alive.

If you take a look at the following ‘successful’ online communities you will see some of the characteristics I have mentioned that are required.
These are 5 of some of the most popular ‘Online Communites’;

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/
(1.39 Billion Active Users – Most popular social networking site)
fb_icon_325x325

Google Plus Communities
https://plus.google.com/communities
(540 Million Active Users)
Google-Plus-Communities

WhatsApp
https://www.whatsapp.com/
(700 Million Active Users)
unnamed

Twitter
https://twitter.com/?lang=en
(284 Million Active Users)
twitterlogo

Skype
http://www.skype.com/en/
(300 Million Active Users)
skype-logo-open-graph
These are some of the most active Online Communities today all of which have hundreds of millions of users and upwards so you can see how rapidly growing Online Communities are growing.How many are you a part of?

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7 thoughts on “Week 4: My understanding of an ‘online community’

    1. Not 100% sure but i’m pretty sure whatsapp has a much better interface and alot more customisation and file sharing options. Ive also heard that is has a more secure system.
      Messenger does allow free calling though and is completely free.

      Like

  1. Hi Peter, well done for this attempt. You’ve broken the characteristics down well and set out the structure of your post nicely.
    I do think that you need more referencing throughout to help back up your ideas. You haven’t referenced any of the key reading list and you haven’t really tied what you’ve written back to the academic aspects of the topic.
    You also need to apply more critical thinking here. You’ve touched on some of the main ideas, but haven’t take this to the next step where you can really get to the guts of the topic. Try and build on this for the next blog post.
    Tracy

    Like

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