So here we are in week 7 of project communities. Past few weeks we have been working on examining different kind of online communities and rating them on different kind of criteria. So just to give you a quick heads-up; Our NGO gave us the challenge on how to get in contact with experts around the globe. Therefore we immediately thought of creating a platform where different people could join, talk and share ideas on sustainable agriculture and social innovation. Because we’ve not worked with a lot of online communities we thought we could analyze a few and see what a “good” online community is and which applications it is using. This gave us but little insight in the way different online communities operate, but still, little is more than no insight.
In this research we found one or two sites where it was really hard to join by creating an account. This was one of the first criteria that we were scoring the communities on, because, depending on the community, we thought a good online community should have easy access. Nowadays, many online communities have applications which would let potential users connect with Facebook, Twitter or other online profiles. Because many people use these social network profiles, for most people it’s rather easy to join.
Secondly I think that people are lazy by default and need some triggers to get them to do anything. Therefore news and information should be as easy to access as possible, preferably the information should come towards the user. I think this is why Hyves (the first online social media I used) isn’t existing anymore, for it was not possible to access the information easily. I hourly check my ‘own’ Facebook homepage, which shows information others find important, like or want to share with others. On Hyves I had to search for one of my friends and look on their homepage to see what they were up to. Therefore I think that the ease to access information and news is one of the most important factors in online communities, preferably the updates should come to you.
This is what makes social media so attractable to businesses and organizations, for people don’t have to look up information about for example; planned events, your new designs or redesigns. Anything you want to share, spreads to the people that are interested in, or ‘like’ your organization.
For the future I’m interested in how to raise awareness for a certain company or organization. For my roommate raised his own company and when I can, I help in branding and raising awareness. So far, it has been time consuming and not very fruitful. I just discussed that social media can be very effective in sharing news and information, but I’m wondering how to use social networks to raise awareness.
Thanks all for reading and see you next week.