1. To Discuss a Topic That No One Else is Discussing
If there’s no online community discussion about your favorite topic, start one! Say you collect
antique glass insulators and you’d like to talk about them, but there’s no one else in town that shares
your interest.

You can bet that there are folks on the Internet who do!
2. To Provide an Online Way for an Existing Community to Get Together
An online community can be a great way for your extended family, your church, your club, or
another existing group to communicate. Several Web sites are specifically designed to allow families
or alumni groups to form communities.
3. To Create a Community With Your Own Personal Style
As the creator and manager of an online community, you can make the rules and set the tone of your
4. To Market a Product or Service
A Web site is a good first step for marketing online. But providing an online community can help,
too. Your community can be directed at the types of people who might want to buy from you. If you
demonstrate that you are knowledgeable, provide helpful information, and don’t use a hard-sell
approach, people will get a good impression of you and your products.
5. To Provide Support for Customers of Your Product
If you sell something or provide a service, you can let your customers support each other, and
support them directly, via an online community.
6. To Convince People of Your Way of Thinking
Got an opinion? You can create a community to discuss it and to try to convince people that you are
right. However, if you are too strident or don’t allow other people to express their opinions, no one
will stick around to listen.
7. To Share Experiences with People
If you’ve got a medical condition, family problem, or other life situation; you’re fighting with a
particularly stupid computer program; or you’re dealing with some other situation, you can find
other people who are in the same boat. You may have some useful advice for them—or they may
have some for you.
8. To Make Money
The manager of an online community can make money by selling ads that are displayed to
subscribers. But remember—no one will come to see the ads unless you have useful and interesting
material to offer!


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