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Subject: Re: UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!
From: Duncan Clubb
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 12:15:28 +0100

Charles Linn wrote:

> 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?

there are tons, mostly in the states. one of the oldest and best known is the
Well (www.well.com).

> 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?

Yes (see above)

> 3. Are there any commercially viable sites in their own right at all?

Yes (see above)

> 4. The million dollar question ­ Is there any published info on how
> websites make money with real­life­example income streams?

Try Hagel and Armstrong - Net Gain

> 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

Duncan Clubb
e-mail: duncan [dot] clubbatoffworld [dot] net Offworld Industries,
http: www.offworld.net Britannia House,
Tel: (44)(0)171 278 3464 4-24 Britannia Street,
FAX: (44)(0)171 278 5820 London WC1X 9JD

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  Re: UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!, Clay Shirky

  UKNM: Communities: Fact or Fiction!, Charles Linn

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