Talking tech since 2003

How do you build a web community? One of the greatest questions on the web today. Here are some tips and advice on ways to create and build a community online.

Create a site and community on a topic that you are interested and passionate about – I cannot stress this enough.

Start a blog and incorporate it into your website – I highly recommend you start a blog and use it to interact with your users. Let them provide feedback to you with it. Post the latest updates about the site and/or community – use the blog as a publishing platform for content as well. Content as they say is King – fresh content is even better (so post regularly). I recommend using either WordPress or Drupal to create your blog.

In conjunction with your blog you might want to consider opening forums. There are a number of different forum software packages available on the web for both free and purchase. In the free realm there is phpbb and Simple Machines Forum – both relatively decent. On the pay for side there is Invision Power Board and vBulletin. I prefer and recommend Invision Power Board; it is also worth to make note that most of the modifications/plugins are free for IPB whereas that is not always the case for vBulletin. I must also stress the fact that forums only work if you have people to help you. If no one is willing to help you out and reply to threads and answer questions forums are essentially useless and can potentially hurt your site.

Leave feedback and contribute on other sites. This is often overlooked by many people. It is very important to comment on other blogs and/or sites that talk about your site for a couple of reasons, first off, you can always link back to your site, and secondly, it shows you care about your site and those that are writing about you.

Use other social networks and platforms to build your community. Sites like Twitter are great for building and gathering people together into communities. I recommend you get a Twitter account if you don’t have one already and use it to promote your site and community as well as using it contribute to others. Also consider implementing your Twitter feed into your site.

Have these tips helped you?  Leave a comment!

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