Building community is a continually emerging trend
in smart e-marketing technique. The tools available on the
Internet make it inexpensive and quick to get your own community
One of your
goals should be to provide a safe place for people to get the
information and camaraderie they desire. When you develop such a
place you reap the benefits in several ways.
When you market to a group
of people that are members of a discussion board you've got to be
careful or you may lose your status as a safe haven.
reason people like discussion boards is that they are generally
protected to a certain extent from a barrage of ads. Sometimes a
special area of the board is reserved for member ads.
Advertising -- Members can advertise in
They post a signature file with
each comment they make on the board which can tell everyone else
their company name and maybe a little tag line and website link.
slyly make comments and ask question that push their agenda.
also get lots of networking benefits OR
stay totally anonymous and simply read the posts (usually people
have to be registered to be able to post questions and replies).
Owners of the board have several
options when it comes to advertising to their members.
TYPES OF DISCUSSION BOARDS
A moderated discussion board means
that each post must go through a person/persons that decide if the
post is reasonable before they allow it to be seen by the
Unmoderated means that posts go
directly on the board without screening . . . Let me expand on
that. The board can be set to watch for foul language and censor
posts that have bad words in them, however you can't really
automatically screen idiotic ideas or nasty comments.
Threaded boards start off with a main
topic and then "threads" branch off the main topic
similar to breaking up people into small groups to discuss an
particular aspect of the main topic. Threaded boards are well
suited to question and answer style conversations.
boards have one message following another in chronological order
and are better suited to long in-depth conversations where people
really get to know each other well.
I am using a
threaded board from V bulletin. Click the graphic below to go to
BEFORE YOU LEAP
through a little . . . .I mean a lot! You must be sure that the bulletin
board you pick will work with your server. You must know a little about
running a bulletin board. I didn't so I got help from Jeanette Cates mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
, Sally Strackbein mailto:Sally@ConnectionExperts.com
and the Content Guru Dan Shafer mailto:email@example.com
Dan has written a killer ebook called "The
Online Marketer's Resource Bible. Volume One is about building
community and it's great! It will save you tons of time. Dan also
reviews many different software options in the book. Contact him mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Another book that I found helpful is
"Community Building" by Amy Jo Kim.
Here are some other titles I found when
searching for reading materials on the subject:
"Online Communities "
by Jenny Preece
"Hosting Web Communities "
by Cliff Figallo
"The Virtual Community "
by Howard Rheingold
"Poor Richard's Building Online Communities"
by Margaret Levine Young, John R. Levine
by Chris Werry (Editor), et al
"Design for Community"
by Derek M. Powazek
"Communities of Commerce"
by Stacey E. Bressler, Charles E. Grantham Sr.
"Communities in Cyberspace"
by Marc A. Smith (Editor), Peter Kollock (Editor)
by John Hagel, Arthur G. Armstrong
"Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities"
by Amy Jo Kim (This is the one I have)
You can get bulletin boards for free, but you generally have to
allow them to advertise to your community. My board cost about
$165.00 installed. I spent another $250.00 to make it look like
the rest of the http://www.GreatInternetMarketing.com
site. I also had to upgrade my server package to handle the board
which I think was about another $20.00 per month.
highly recommended that you recruit gung ho volunteers that know what
they are doing to help you run your board. If you get big enough you may
hire people to help you.
Volunteers can act as moderators,
greeters and facilitators. Plus they will add knowledge to the board
which is part of why people visit the board.
presently looking into adding live chat so that people on the board can
get real time conversations going and network even better.
From what I've heard you have to work pretty hard to get to
a critical mass of users so that the discussion is always lively and
there is always new info to peruse. I haven't put too much effort into
the board yet, because I'm trying to learn how to run the administration
interface before too many people start asking me questions. Too many,
too fast could definitely get out of hand. At the time of this writing I
have only about 50 registered users and the discussion is picking up. I
have no doubt that this board is going to work really well, but without
putting full time into it, it will take a little while to get going.
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