Online Communities Share Hobbies and Interests - dummies

Online Communities Share Hobbies and Interests

By Deborah Ng

In the early days, online communities had very little to do with brands or profiting. They were places to share online. Before brands jumped onto the community bandwagon, it was more about gathering to discuss favorite hobbies, interests, and even career choices.

Though online community management is now more about brands and selling, plenty of communities aren’t interested in either. They just want to talk about their favorite things, their jobs, or ways to do certain things better. In fact, one of the more popular online communities is the FlyLady Yahoo!, which offers household productivity tips to over 500,000 members.

The hobbyist or special-interest communities are a good lesson in why people really join online communities. When it’s about the brand, folks want their discounts. When it’s about a pastime, people want to talk as much as they can about the things they enjoy.

The benefits of these types of special-interest communities abound. They offer a place to

  • Share tips and advice.

  • Discover where to find rare or difficult to locate products.

  • Find jobs.

  • Discuss issues.

  • Share news articles, videos, and more.

  • Read or watch tutorials.

  • Share a passion.

Through these types of communities, friendships and collaborations emerge. These groups are more like a family or group of old friends than a forum of people who don’t even know each other. Members get to know each other individually and share and interact on an individual basis. These relationships flourish and expand throughout the various social networks and even offline. Almost every member will tell you these communities are a valuable experience.

Online communities go way beyond a conversation on a Facebook page. Harness the power of your own community, and you’ll come up with some brilliant ideas.