Community is dead…LONG LIVE COMMUNITY!

What I mean to say is that, the vision we all had of the online Community is dead, or rather it’s evolved. This means that all those Community links in the primary or secondary navs linking off to separate and contained communities are a thing of the past.

Many sites that have communities have been operating under the false assumption that their Community needs to exist separately from their editorial content. Other sites who did realize the disconnect still didn’t take the time to seamlessly integrate Community features into their existing experience. The result is many of the communities we see today, bolted on as an afterthought in an attempt at social due-diligence, but not a true or seamless social integration. Those are the communities of the past. The brands and agencies who’ve had the foresight to realize the disconnect AND have also taken the necessary steps to address it have created what you see below: a seamless integration between content and Community.

This is a purely music-oriented site but the great thing is that artists and listener profiles are comingled. Musician profiles are called out via a different look but they sit alongside the listener’s profiles. Additionally, the flow of the sight evokes a sense of social seamlessness that can’t be mirrored in the old Community model. You move from song, to artists, to other listeners and their comments on the song. It’s so intuitive that you feel like the site has Artificial Intelligence; but really it’s simply an online Community that makes sense.

This is what a truly social Community should be. That means: content consumption, comments, ratings and mood polling are all part of a unified, holistic experience. Editorial content flows nicely into UGC as opposed to having all the UGC, profiles, groups and forums contained in a silo, separate and removed from the meat of the site. The goal is to have all these key features stitched together in a way that is highly functional and makes sense.

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2 thoughts on “Community is dead…LONG LIVE COMMUNITY!

  1. Interesting concept. Content and community coexisting in harmony AND prominently displayed on the homepage or throughout a site is a trend we should be seeing more of. It promotes the idea of leveraging your community as content publishers and then interweaving their voice with key pieces of subject matter. This is also a great way to activate your community.

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about content “coexisting”. The majority of today’s communities weigh the value of editorial content more heavily than UGC but, in instances where you have a smart, involved community, this shouldn’t be the case. Seamlessly interweaving UGC throughout causes your community members to feel more involved – like you value their contributions. This will inspire them to create more content AND, this is the kicker, it will inspire them to share this contact, syndicate it out to their Facebook wall and spread via word-of-mouth. This increases viral value especially if you have the tools to identify the key influencers in your community and you proactively broadcast their content.

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