A community is created when people come together and establish bonds with one another. The bonds are emotional in nature. For an online community to come together and also endure there has to be content that helps disparate people that have never met in the real world to come together on an emotional level. First there’s the coming together. People come together because they have some specific thing in common, be it where they happen to be physically, or in their lives, or any other thing. At this point, people feel one another out with innocuous conversation. Eventually, if there’s more than just surface stuff in common the threads of a relationship form, there’s the slow emergence of trust and a willingness to share more than just the innocuous stuff. From this point, people either stay connected or things erode and eventually end. Online content for an online community is there to sustain that moment when trust has been ignited and to keep members coming back and not eroding into dissolution. The idea is to initiate conversations so that members keep finding those compatible factors. Their needs to be regular content, a ritualistic feel, so that members feel a part of something beyond themselves and come back to touch base. Content should encourage members to celebrate their triumphs with one another.
- By finding out which potential topics of conversation that members of a community share with one another, you can give them a nudge to help them get acquainted.
- During the Build-Up stage of a relationship, people are already acquainted and are finding out if they have more in common than what first brought them together.
- Not all relationships endure, and when they end you have reached the Termination phase.
“In order for a group of people to be a true community?that is, members are forming emotional relationships with each other?it?s important that your content helps those connections happen.”