The Online Community Blueprint, communications homework help

According to research, “by online communities we mean any virtual space where people come together with others to converse, exchange information or other resources, learn, play, or just be with each other.  The term applies to many social configurations, from small close-knit groups to sites with millions of participants. Online communities may be supported by a wide variety of technology platforms, from email lists to forums, blogs, wikis, and networking sites. The most common feature is ongoing interactions among people over time, with some of the interactions being technology mediated.” (Kraut, et.al., 2012) As I mentioned on our introductions, I am a fish hobbyist; I have a75-gallon aquarium with exotic Discus fish that originally come from the Amazon river in Brazil.  When I first took on this hobby, I had some real challenges with the water parameters and taking care of these exotic fishes; I had some casualties along the way which gave me a lot of grief.  Although, I had the willingness and dedication, I didn’t have the experience to maintain such a difficult aquarium.  In a desperate attempt to improve the survival rate of my discus, I researched and joined an online community called SimplyDiscus.com.  I was able to communicate with other discus fish enthusiasts who were passionate and willing to share with me valuable information regarding aquarium upkeep, water quality parameters and feeding tips relevant to Discus fish.  My aquatics babies survived because I found this online community; it has been close to 4 years since I added the first discus to my aquarium and, I can honestly attribute much of my success to SimplyDiscus.com.  All it takes for an online community to thrive is common interest; “though every online customer or member community follows its own unique path, they all start from a place of common interest. The formation of online communities happens when people join together around a common identifier. This can be anything such as a profession, hobby, activity, product use, or social factor.” (Bapple, Paul & Oakes, 2015)

While SimplyDiscus.com is free of charge online community of fish enthusiast helping others to thrive in their hobby; however, online communities are used by companies as well; “when companies begin to focus on building communities, it has a powerful impact that forges these deeper emotional bonds. Starbucks, which had lost its way as a brand, decided that the best way of getting back on track was by reconnecting with its customers and working with them to improve Starbucks offer…The site is at once a crowdsourcing tool, an online community and a market-research method that brings customer priorities to light. Customers can submit, view and discuss submitted ideas along with employees from various Starbuck’s departments- ‘Idea Partners’.” (Pickavance, N., 2014).  Starbucks is a great example of an online community that connects with its customers.

  References:

Bapple, K., Paul, J. & Oakes, K. (2015). The Online Community Blueprint: A 9 Step Guide to Planning an

Online Community for Your Customers, Members or Partners. Retrieved from:

https://books.google.com/books?id=nzI6CgAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false (Links to an external site.)

Kraut, R.E., Resnick, P., Kiesler, S., Blurke, M., et.al. (2012). Building Successful Online Communities:

Evidence-Based Social Design. MIT Press. Retrieved from:

  https://books.google.com/books?id=lIvBMYVxWJYC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false (Links to an external site.)

Pickavance, N. (2014). The Reconnected Leader: An Executives Guide to Creating Responsible, Purposeful

and Valuable Organizations. Kogan Page.  Retrieved from:

https://books.google.com/books?id=TFSeBQAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false (Links to an external site.)

 
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