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What builds or sustains an online community?

beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
Like most of us, I'm a member of a number of online forums. With some, you get a real sense of community, with others not so much.

And it's not always predictable. However, technical forums often lack community. People sign up strictly to inquire about the software or hardware in question, and then leave once they get an answer. On the other hand there is one that I visit that has a strong sense of community and one that tries to, but is mostly cohesive because of a few core members.

And then there are those that seem to attract mostly jerks, like gaming forums.

Forum that are intentionally social should have the best chance at a sense of community, but it's often poisonous (like the other vegetarian forum), and places like FB where a number of VV members have discussed dealing with jerks there.

But despite the jerks, people stick around. It's almost like a dysfunctional family. So, it's more than a friendly welcoming environment that gets people to stick around.

I'm just not sure what it is.
 

Blobbenstein

.......
one thing that sustains an online community is a narrative. A kind of thread that runs through time, that people can pick up when they join, or when they come back..
 

Freesia

not my business.
I think as vegetarians we can feel like there are not other people in our lives who are in the same boat as us in that respect... so maybe that is why vegetarians like to hang out together online.
 

Clueless Git

Plant powered
Same as sustains pantomimes and soap operas.

That's the right balance of 'sweethearts' (to cheer for) and villains (to boo), so far as I can work out.

Oh, and a horse. Nothing more amusing than knowing that the poor sod who plays the back legs has his head stuck up the front of the horse man's butt.
 
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Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
There are a thousand and one factors that, when they are all tuned and calibrated just the right way, together make for success. Some factors you can control, and some you can't.
 

beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
There are a thousand and one factors that, when they are all tuned and calibrated just the right way, together make for success. Some factors you can control, and some you can't.
Sure. but some of those factors are bigger contributors to the end result, and some are more controllable than others.
 

KLS52

Only Kindness Matters
I think it depends on what each member is there for. People join forums for different reasons and what they are going to get out of it. If you get enough people with the same goals, the forum will most likely take off. If there are too few members who fit any particular category, it's likely to get stale.

I love the coffee house but I'm not particularly good at small talk. So while I look for it and read it several times a day, I don't always add to the conversation. Lately, it's been slow. We need more yakkers. :p

I hate to argue so a debate forum doesn't interest me. But someplace where you could talk about and share personal experiences without always having to justify why you feel or believe a certain way, would. Sometimes feelings are just that.

I think there's more in my head but its starting to get jumbled. I need my morning coffee.
 

SummerRain

I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
I think it depends on what each member is there for. People join forums for different reasons and what they are going to get out of it. If you get enough people with the same goals, the forum will most likely take off. If there are too few members who fit any particular category, it's likely to get stale.
This is what I was going to say too. I usually join forums because I want a specific kind of help, and I'm happy to give that back.
 
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