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Online Community Management For Dummies® by Deborah Ng

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Chapter 2

What You Have to Know about Online Communities

In This Chapter

  • Seeing reasons to socialize online
  • Gaining the benefits of community membership
  • Getting to know some common personality types

Online communities come in as many types as there are reasons to join them. For some people, joining an online community is a way to stave off loneliness. For others, it's a way to discuss topics of interest, such as politics, books, religion, parenting, or movies, with like-minded people.

Online communities can be as serious as they are lively. In some communities, the members share tips for hobbies or careers, while in others, they want to find out more about a topic that interests them. Some online communities even exist simply to have a light-hearted conversation with others. You can't pinpoint a single reason for joining a community because the reasons are just as personal and individual as the community members themselves.

Why People Join Online Communities

In order to manage a community, you have to know as much as you can about why members are there. As a community manager, how much do you know — I mean, truly know — about your online community? I'll even go as far as to say that you can't adequately run a community unless you understand the reasons people are there.

Some communities are more than a place to come each day and share a few words. For the members, they're a place to belong. Die-hard community members see their communities as a home away from home, even if it's ...

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