Not quite sure if I’m doing the right thing here, posting to a rather old thread. I’m working my way through How to Start an Online Community. The first assignment, Exercise 1: Identify Genuine Communities, points here. I see a couple of older posts on this topic in the thread, and I want to do my assignments… so here goes.
The assignment is to identify a Genuine community - identify the boundaries, find the common interests, and look at a discussion between members.
I looked around a bit and decided that slickdeals.net is a Genuine Community.
Boundaries: You have to register. Deals shared must be really great deals (or you’ll be chastised!), so participants must have a keen sense of value and pricing.
Strong Common Interest: Saving money shopping, getting a deal or freebie. They do have lots of subgroups based on shared interests: Grocery, gaming, TV, Computers, finance, home, apparel, tech, etc. These aren’t just ways to organize the deals, but different topics where people have their passion. If you aren’t a tech geek, you’re really not going to understand the specs on a router well enough to determine if $99 or $399 is a good deal.
Discussion between members: I picked one at random:
Member johnny_miller posts a deal.
He joined in 2014 and has posted 712 deals, 6K comments. He has over 6K “reputation points” (a way members can thank one another) and has achieved Level 10 in the Community. That’s pretty good stuff - long term engagement, high level of activity for the member. Those reputation points indicate lots of interaction between members, as you earn rep when people “thank” you for posting a deal.
Just 14 minutes later there is a reply thanking the OP and the member describes what he bought with this deal. This member joined in 2010 and has 241 posts. So, we’re seeing another long-term member with lots of activity, and we see some experience-sharing (what he bought) that was mentioned in the 4th lesson.
Within 6 hours there are 17 replies in the thread.
A day and a half later there are 47 replies and members are helping each other with the return policy, shoe recommendations, comments on whether or not the shoes hold up, and stories about how fast their children go through shoes.
These members know each other, interact, are highly responsive, share experiences. This isn’t just a “Genuine Community” it’s a Successful Community.