A lot of people wonder why they would want an online community. There are really two questions in the single statement. Do you need a community as a member? Likely. Do you need to build a community as a leader? Perhaps.
There are a few simple ways to help determine whether you would benefit as a member of a community or if you are better off building a community to meet your needs.
Here are some quick tips to help you know which decision is the one you need to make. Join or Build?
If you seek it, you will find it. Or will you?
What information are you searching for? As you pour through search engine results, digging deeper and deeper, not finding what you are seeking. When you do, is the information timely and relevant? Or just keyword purchases misdirecting you to something you have no use of?
If the information you need is beyond the first page of results, there need to be more relevant and reliable resources on the topic you are researching.
If you are seeking it, chances are thousands of others are as well.
Overwhelmed by Results!
Your search returns lots of information, more than you have time to sort and review. How do you determine which results are credible and which are not? Social proof, and word of mouth marketing experts, would say that now you will seek the advice of your own friends, forcing more time spent on research, still seeking information.
You choose a link. There may be ads, live updates, pop-ups, and more. The stimulation alone overloads your senses. Overwhelmed, you give up.
Taking the initiative.
You ultimately aren’t happy with the options you have been presented with. You are an “initiator” and ready to take action. The “initiators” are a group of people that have the spark, enthusiasm and the drive to take the words “I can do it! If I solve it, they will come!” and make them a reality!
This is the birth of a community. The topic, the focus, the need, isn’t important. You can insert any of those, or business vertical, local community, government (the list is limitless) and you will have a need for a community.
Building that community should be intuitive, simple, easy and quick. You shouldn’t need to “code”. You require a simple, yet elegant, platform which gives you a place to build a vibrant community forum.
A place that people will want to flock to and enjoy returning. You want your community to be discovered, so having it a part of a larger network is ideal, but you don’t want that parent network to control it’s visibility.
Before you know it your community will take on a life of it’s own, becoming the sought after resource just waiting to be discovered by someone like you.
You made a connection, and you might have changed a life. What Community will you build to make a difference?