Chapter 8

Build a Sticky Blog Community

I discovered the power of online community on the first day I went online. It was 1996, and I was a student wanting to get the Internet installed at home to help me research papers that I was writing for my degree.

I’d heard of people making friends online and saw reports in media of people even meeting partners on the Internet, but had always been very skeptical about the idea that anyone could build any kind of relationship through the web.

That skepticism was blown out of the water within hours of being online when I found myself in an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) room for Australians.

Within moments of entering the room I’d been noticed, welcomed, and drawn into the conversation.

Three hours later my view of how community could be developed online was completely changed. Three months later I’d spent an hour a day (minimum) in this room since that first day. Over the year or two that followed, I’d personally met 20 or so other members, had attended one wedding, had helped conduct an online memorial service for a member who’d passed away, and had become close friends with a number of others.

I had discovered the power for building community online—something that has shaped the way I’ve used the web ever since.

This chapter looks closely at the ways in which you can build a sticky blog community: a space in which readers eagerly engage with you and with one another in a way that sustains your blog as well as the community itself.

How Sticky ...

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