One of the most famous online communities, MySpace, is projected to have more than 100 million user profiles. As the site grows, users find it more difficult to locate and connect with the right people — creating demand for niche online communities.
If you plan to build a community to meet that demand, answering the following questions will help you create a roadmap for your community:
- Will the community be open by invitation only or accessible to the general public?
- What common basis will your community have?
- How will you fund the community?
- What features will you offer users?
Some features typically found in online communities are forums, events listings, messaging service, ratings, personal pages, blogs, videos, podcasts and stories posted by visitors.
To start your community, find a Web hosting plan that include the features and programs you'd like to offer. Then design your Web site, launch and promote it. Use this guide for more information on each of these steps.