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Subject: UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!
From: Charles Linn
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 15:22:56 +0100

Last week I was speaking to an industry friend of mine (who has been
making websites for blue chip clients for 4­5 years), and I was talking
to him about 'communities'.

My original definition of a 'community' was a group of like minded
people who have an interest in common rather than a geographical
location. My contention was that if you can create a place on the
internet to facilitate people talking about and exploring their shared
interest, then providing the design is good (technical, graphical and
informational), and the marketing is strong, then this can be used for
the basis of an internet only business, with great opportunities for
advertising, sponsorship and commerce.

His response which was that there are no good examples of community
sites which make money and that as far as he was concerned, building
website for corporate clients was where its at and where it will be at
for the foreseeable future.

This was a bit of a surprise to me. I had always assumed that aiming to
create online communities was a sensible aim for building traffic, and
that therefore it would be a sensible part of any business model. This
is fine for me working at Friends of the Earth as I don't actually need
the site to make money (although it would be nice) and repeat viewing
and building aloyal audience is an end in it's own right, as we want as
many people as possible to hear about our campaigns and then get
involved in them.

My questions for the list are:
1. Can people think of any commercially viable community based sites?
2. Do they agree that a community site which is not just an online
version of an existing brand can form a viable basis for a commercially
successful site?
3. Are there any commercially viable sites in their own right at all?
4. The million dollar question ­ Is there any published info on how
websites make money with real­life­example income streams?

I have some good ideas but I am having great difficulty filling in the
gaps and therefore difficulty in 'going for it'.

All responses most welcome

Cheers

Chas Linn
Web Producer
Friends of the Earth
www.foe.co.uk (Yell Awards - Runner Up 1999)
0171 566 1701
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Replies
  Re: UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!, Tom Hukins
  RE: UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!, Lee Bryant
  Re: UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!, Duncan Clubb
  Re: UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!, Clay Shirky

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