Great examples of online communities

(Sarah Hawk) #1

I’m collecting examples of really great, thriving communities. I’d love your input.

What communities really stand out to you as great, and why?

(Alessio Fattorini) #2

Besides feverbee?
Cmx: great people, inspiring leaders, several interesting topics and friendly environment.

(Sarah Hawk) #3

Thanks @ale_fattorini – CMX is a great example of a successful Facebook group (which is definitely a community) but I’m looking more specifically for communities on their own real estate.

(Jeanne Carboni) #4

Hi Hawk,

I love the community my team and I support, SAP Community Network. It is the community for SAP professionals to engage and collaborate about SAP’s software and services. In 2015 we had more than 25.4 million unique visitors and a net promoter score of 54%.

Along with my 9 team members, who are global moderators, we support 440 volunteer moderators who are subject matter experts for the topics they moderate.

The reason SCN stands out for me is the family-type loyalty that is evident in SCN. We have SAP Mentors, who are experts on our software and also evangelists for the better good through software development and implementation. We have Members of the Month (MoM) who pay it forward, sharing their knowledge freely with other visitors. And we have our global moderators who are passionate about making the community the best place for SAP professionals.

From time to time we support altruistic community efforts, like funding for the World Food Programme and free development of dashboards for Doctors without Borders. At other times we support college aged newcomers through our University Alliances program.

I must say that working with the members of this community has been the highlight of my 30+ year carreer in the high tech industry.

(Sarah Hawk) #5

Ha! I have actually already got you on my list! I agree, you’re doing a great job there. Congratulations (and thanks for jumping into this topic).

How do you feel about your community platform/user experience?

(Jeanne Carboni) #6

HI Sarah,

We currently are on a very old version of Jive (5.something) and moving onto a collection of SAP products with WordPress and AnswerHub. I’d be happy to talk to you about it sometime, but hesitant to write about it publicly.

Let me know if you would like to connect real time at some point. (I can be flexible with time zones. I work from home!!!)

(rhogroupee) #7

Hi Sarah, here are two of my favorites that are publicly accessible: and Both serving an important purpose, and both managed really well by their teams. (Disclosure, these are both on our platform)

(Stephen Cribbett) #8

Since my domain is research communities then I’d love to share with you an inspiring community we conducted with Macmillan Cancer Support and Forum Research. The objective was to gather LGBT and BAME cancer patients to better understand their experiences of cancer care and the inherent inequalities.

Given the hyper-sensitive subject matter, we learned more than we ever expected, but what was more amazing was the catharcism and enjoyment the members got from talking about their experiences in a closed and intimate setting. Suffice to say the research community was shortlisted for an MRS Award last year.

(Sarah Hawk) #9

Sounds like an amazing study @Stephen_Cribbett – is it a public community?

(Stephen Cribbett) #10

Unfortunately not since the objective was to conduct research that was to influence public policy. Most of the outcomes (ie. the insight) of the research communities we conduct are confidential for obvious reasons, though for most we can talk about the approach to management and the over-arching objectives.

(Sarah Hawk) #11

I’d like to bump this topic now that I’ve compiled my list to date, to demonstrate what I’m trying to do (and the level of detail). I’d love to make this a really definitive list, with examples of communities that are successful for a number of different reasons.

(Richard Millington) #12

Vanessa has a great list of b2b communities here:

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #13

One of my favourites is FairPhone’s community:

(woah, they became even more colourful since I last checked in. Maybe a tad more than to my liking ^^ )

What I love about it is that transparency is core to their product mission, which aligns perfectly with an actively engaged community, which really shows in the conversations that they have.

(Rebecca Braglio) #14

One of my favorite communities is I really love just about everything about this site - the way it’s set up, how ecommerce is woven in, the sharing capabilities, and the way you can bring other members in on a project.

I’ve also liked for a long time - a good example that your community doesn’t have to be “pretty” to be active. I really like the craft challenges they have.

(Susan Burton) #15

Goodreads with 20 million members was an example of a healthy community. After being bought by Amazon, this may not be so true now.

(Kristen Gastaldo) #16

So, it’s not pretty - but I dig my local area community - the East Dulwich forum.

  • It creates a password for you, so I can never remember mine.
  • It’s not mobile responsive.
  • The private messaging is archaic, where I’m never sure if my reply will appear at the beginning or end of reply.
  • Uploading images is a total pain and they only appear as attachments, rather than embedded in post.

However, it’s full of relevant information for my area of town. I found my prenatal classes there. I found my nanny there. My husband found our flat there. I’ve bought and sold so many household and baby items that I probably owe the moderators a commission. I get everything from local happenings to restaurant recommendations there too.

I put up with all the usability issues because it provides so much value to my living situation. It’s a pretty solid example of platform not being the end all be all of community success.

(Alessio Fattorini) #17

Wow that’s community is amazing. Very active and I like very much how they’re using Discourse, thank you for point it out
A great community is also the Discourse one:
Reference point for every product based community

(Nick Emmett) #18

Salesforce’s community continues to grow and thrive, well worth an inclusion. Erica Kuhl has a great team there and the sense of community is strong.

(christopher w) #19


(Sarah Hawk) #20

Yeah, that blew me away too. Also, Ravelry has 5,988,997 registered users. 1,052,252 Ravelers have been active during the last 30 days.