Can you create a community?

Is it truly possible to create an online community?

 

Yes, but no.

 

The right way to think about it is that you're creating the best place for a community to come together.

 

Creation-hands

 

There are many reasons why you don't want to approach the task as "creating a community."

 

Ego

You really want your members to feel that they've created the community.  You are only the agent; you are the jelly-like stuff in the petri dish.  Members who feel an ownership stake in a community are members for life.

 

Affinity

For any online community to thrive, it needs to have a defined point of connection. This is usually a passion, a quirk, a bond that makes the members feel kinship with one another.  It might be a love of Steampunk. It might be that they are Masters students in Philosophy. It might be the fact that their parents were in the Army when they were young. You didn't make those things happen, they just are.

 

Authenticity

When a community speaks with a common voice, common lingo, common traditions, it's a beautiful thing.  Generally, this type of deep relationship springs from true human connections.  That is hard to fake, and very hard for a brand to gin up in the marketing department.

 

So what's a brand or business to do?

 

Find the community that already exists in your niche, and give them a playroom. Let them name it, play with it, and run it if possible.  Then maybe they'll do you the honor of inviting you in.

 

Have you found your community yet?

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I completely agree with the post. Creating the community online is merely a way to HOST people in coming together. It allows connection,(eventually mine will also have chat as most of my members are either deaf or interpreters)

 

People long for connection and having an online community that facilitates a place to meet gives deaf people a sense of belonging that at times they do not have if they live alone or have very little connection with people who are able to communicate with them. 

 

Thank you for Hoop.la! It is the place I intend on building and eventually having the Pro version for many years to come.

You are such a blessing to me!

 

Deborah 

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