Mink Machine

One community to rule them all

Internet 2007. There are tons of communities available and all aspire to be the global center of networking. Without a large user base, there cannot be a community. Most net-active people have an account with at least one of the popular communities, and some (ahem) have an account for most of them. But a lot of active community users are fed up with registering on dozens of different sites and rebuild their personal profile and friends list over and over again.

Since the different communities are competitors, they will rarely make it easy for other communities to share their data and collaborate across boundaries. The catch then, as always, is how to achieve domination? Unlike earlier efforts by emperors and conquistadors, the web market won’t fall to brute force. You have to trick the audience into using your community.

Most importantly, make it global. A lot of successful sites have failed because of this. Helgon is a community for people with alternative music interests, but since the interface is written in Swedish, it cannot achieve a large user base outside Sweden.

Don’t focus on a narrow user base. Lunarstorm used to be the number one community, but I haven’t touched it in five years. The reason for my absence is the juvenile feeling of it.

Make something different. Stand out from the other platforms. The newcomer Facebook maintains a list of your friends activities. X did this, Y is now friends with Z and so on. At the moment, this is a very successful approach for making people get back often. Lunarstorm uses a score system, where you get points for various activities. People with higher score are supposed to be cooler, or something like that. Trig uses a system where users “trig” other users, thus marking them as popular. This is somewhat better than Lunarstorm’s approach, since it forces the user to make other people enjoy their presence, but it can easily be abused by trig exchanges (“you scratch my back, I scratch yours”).

While waiting for the perfect community, I guess we are doomed to rebuild our online presences again and again.


No comments yet.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

Visions of Singapore

"By extensive use of landfill with sand bought from Indonesia and Cambodia, the bay area has expanded greatly in the last few years and tall buildings pop up everywhere."

Chilling in Chile

"My weary feet has reached Valparaiso. After almost a month of traveling across the South American continent I realize that this is as far south as I will come, due to weather conditions."

Roaming through Banff

"Even though the main town is surrounded by mountains with names such as Sulphur Mountain, it is as far away from Mordor as one could imagine."

On the Trans-Siberian

"Since the toilets were locked during the seven hour stop, we had to bribe the provodnitsas to use the facilities. Then came the Mongols."

Having champagne in Champagne

"We roamed the damp and chilly tunnels and stumbled upon a large barrel delivered by Napoleon himself."

Wazzup in Vaduz

"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."