Building Community Online

The primary goal of the internet is to bring people together. Long before the days of Amazon, EBAY, and Napster (remember them?) the internet was rapidly becoming populated by a growing number of public forums and private 'web portals' where people gathered to exchange ideas and knowledge, or generally support each other in their common interests. These gathering places were the fertile soil that allowed the big name brands of today to plant their seeds. Now things like Angie's List, CraigsList, Reddit and Facebook are household names connecting people from all around the planet. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have realized this power of community and have worked it into their business model. Community in its own right has become both resource and commodity. Businesses now cultivate their all important 'customer retention' through membership based 'loyalty programs' offering various, discounts, perks, rewards, and incentives to their membership base. Register as a frequent flyer member to receive discounts on your next air travel. Become and AIrB&b member and cultivate your reputation as either a renter or rentee. Place your profile on LinkdIn to increase your social clout to receive quality referrals for new clients or even a job promotion. Connectivity builds community...and the potential is limitless. The simple message being, that where we build community we plant potent seeds of opportunity.

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