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.