The New Community?

choice2I had an interesting conversation the other day with an industry colleague who used to be a community manager and is now building his own social media training and speaking consultancy. We got into the usual topic of social media and how businesses are still learning to adopt it in their communications programs. We also discussed his past life running online communities for businesses and the differences between managing a purpose-built community and navigating a community like Twitter.

I asked the question, will branded online or topic-specific online communities suffer because of the popularity of general communities such as Twitter and Facebook? For example, will you still participate in communities built around TV shows like LOST, life experiences like motherhood, brands like Kodak, or user communities for products such as Quickbooks or even EMC’s ControlCenter Community? Or has the ability to follow and hold such conversations simultaneously on Twitter taken your attention away from such communities?

Are you more likely to participate in one over the other? Do you get enough of what you need from a brand you admire on their Facebook fan page (ex: Avelle) or Twitter account (ex JetBlue), or will you still join an online community built for their customers? Is there one kind of online community that you prefer over another?

If you have an opinion will you please take our poll and/or leave a comment here with your opinion? Thank you in advance! We’re very interested to see how the future of online communities evolves over the next 6-12 months.

8 thoughts on “The New Community?

  1. The poll question was “Have general social media communities like Twitter made you more or less likely to participate in company-specific communities?”

    I selected More.

    Also, I liked this question in this post: “I asked the question, will branded online or topic-specific online communities suffer because of the popularity of general communities such as Twitter and Facebook? ”

    I agree that Twitter & FB have allowed people to participate interact via the internet. Which allows businesses to expand their market and not have them in a central location. Twitter & Facebook are so essential to business now.

    It is becoming essential the point that Twitter & Facebook are hard to read. It is hard to go through all the tweets & Facebook new updates to find what you want.

    What Twitter needs to do is develop a new way to organize tweets. The development of the organization should not be from a 3rd party app, search engine or trends.

    Twitter & Facebook needs to find a way directly target a market and directly communicate with them, just as if someone walked through the door at the business. Facebook is way ahead of Twitter in this aspect because of the groups and fan pages.

    The corporate internal question for Twitter & Facebook is: If we develop this new organization to tweets, new feeds, etc, does this new development really fit into our company’s Mission and Goals?

    Right now the end user has developed their own mental filter when reading Twitter & Facebook. I think it would be a lot more effective for businesses and easier for the end user if Twitter/Facebook had it a little more organized.

  2. RIGHT NOW I don’t think Facebook or Twitter has replaced the specific online community because the conversations are not directed enough on FB or Twitter around people’s specific interests. Websites like which blurs the line between user community and Twitter may change that in the next few years. Right now specific online communities offer people the opportunity to talk about and interact with others who are JUST interested in their specific interests without all the confusion and multiple conversations strings that FB & Twitter currently bring.

    Personally Twitter & FB offer more but if I was really passionate about something like LEGOs, for instance, I wouldn’t use either of these sites as much as I would use because Lugnet offers a community specifically built around LEGO enthusiasts, you don’t join if you aren’t passionate about LEGOs. FB & Twitter don’t have that level of community passion…at least not yet.

  3. @Eric.. Awesome.. Sounds like you are starting up a new idea.

    However multiple people are interested in a lot of different things. Maybe we still need one place to manage it, so you don’t have to go to multiple sites. Like Ning? Something involved with RSS, or Similar to Facebook without random news status updates?

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