Creating Community is a Process and a Goal

People who talk to me about “adding a little Web 2.0” to their sites fail to understand that the heart of every successful Web 2.0 venture are the various communities that grow to depend upon the opportunities they acquire through the service. That frosting of Web 2.0 people apply to their portals and websites is mostly aggravating overhead. For the user, it’s like getting a box of chocolate-covered gravel.  Sure, you can add a dozen social media posting links for readers, but if you really want to start a conversation, then you need to dig a little deeper and offer the reader a better bargain for their end of the deal. Find a way to reward those readers who offer feedback or repost your content, and they might just do this again and again.

Should your Web 2.0 designs include building and supporting one or more communities of users, then you will certainly need more than a little Web 2.0 in the mix. Mostly you will need to start with a modest number of tools (microblogs, group support, media sharing) and then tune this list using the recommendations of active users. As soon as someone needs to sign in, they should also want to sign on as a member of something larger than just the software platform.  Make your Web 2.0 services launching pads for those who are ready to become community leaders. And then just stand back and watch.

Photo Credit: Chris Devers on Flickr cc license

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