By Amy Jo Kim
What makes a website an online group? How have websites like Yahoo, iVillage, eBay, and AncientSites controlled to draw and preserve a devoted following? How can net builders create starting to be, thriving websites that serve a big functionality in people's lives? group construction on the internet introduces and examines 9 crucial layout innovations for placing jointly vivid, welcoming on-line groups. Amy Jo Kim, a number one professional in internet group layout, has helped AOL, Yahoo, Oracle, MTV, and others begin on-line worlds that experience develop into flourishing collecting areas that individuals come again to repeatedly. The booklet is stuffed with informative examples, case reports, and strategies for each side of net groups, from welcoming viewers to education neighborhood leaders. (Previously introduced at the iciness ninety eight list.)
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Additional resources for Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities
While mailing lists and message boards have some similarities, message boards offer additional features that give you more community-building power. You can use message boards to: • • • Provide a sense of place. Both mailing lists and message boards can foster a conversation across time zones; but unlike a mailing list, whose participants don't have to "go anywhere" to get their messages, a message board can be integrated into a Web site. By adding to its sense of place, a message board can unite geographically distant people and enhance their sense of belonging.
Chat rooms (and their big brother, auditoriums) work particularly well for real-time scheduled events such as meetings, games, interviews, classes, and topical discussions. Events can help to attract a crowd of compatible people, and ensure that enough of them will show up to bring the gathering to life. Talk City, for example, hosts a wide variety of scheduled events in their chat rooms, including support group meetings, topical discussions, word games, and celebrity interviews (see Chapter 7 for more about events).
PLACES: Bringing People Together All communities need gathering places. Think of the corner pub, the office lunchroom, the neighborhood bookstore, the local hobby shop, the village church, that hip downtown music club—all places where people can gather into groups. On the Web, a gathering place can be a mailing list, a discussion topic, a chat room, a multiplayer game, a virtual world, a web site, or some combination of these spaces. To build a successful community, you'll want to set up gathering places that reinforce your purpose and meet the needs of your target audience.