Conversation is the Core of Community
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If you ask community leaders what they think is the basis of a thriving online community, you’ll often get the response: “Common Interest.” And it’s true; common interest often draws people together. Tightly focused communities around highly targeted content can drive deep audience engagement and impressive business results. However, there is one key risk that even the most active communities face: How do you avoid hitting the wall? And by that, I mean the wall of repetitive content, the exhaustion of key topics, and the subsequent decline in engagement, activity, and traffic. In short, how do you avoid community flameout?
We’ve been grappling with this existential issue at CredSpark and have kept coming back to the same question: Is “Common Interest” the foundation of successful community building? Or is “the Discovery of Common Interest” the foundation of successful community building? Are successful communities built in a focused way around a common interest from the top down? Or are they the result of a continuous back-and-forth between audience members where shifting common interests and topics emerge and drive activity and engagement?