Sustaining Online Communities for the Longer Run
(photography by me) Happy haunting, all.
I am planning to go to Web2point2 next week, for at least part of the event!
My interests — first something i’m thinking of but don’t know much about yet: How do (and should) communities and their social platforms address the modern, more atomized and autonomous web? Are we still looking inward too much with many of our services and platforms rather than tying in fragments of other networks individuals already have built for themselves? What do we do /could we do with the scraps of tagging, rss, bookmarking, list-making and all the other ways people who “sign up for” something tend to indicate that they are part of other things too? Could this become very simple for newbies who seek out group sites? OK, I have nothing but curiosity in this realm.
More realistically, in terms of convening an interesting session, I am concerned about Managing and sustaining online communities for the long run: especially the evolution of social structures and group needs over time, and how to make business and technical changes in that context. There’s plenty to talk about. How do you avoid flavor of the month (or year) dynamics — where “nobody goes there anymore” because a site is considered too crowded, too mainstream, too cliche? What to do about refugees who leave or arrive or create a site together? What has kept you going back to a place for the long run?
I am curious about trends and plans in the former, and most versed in the latter. Both are big, broad areas for discussion. Anybody have a suggestion about how to approach this… Present/faciliate two things? (Noooo!) Lobby somebody else to bring up the first one? Yours if you like it!
Otherwise, how can I be sure to be involved in some way discussions about both of these areas of interest, if both are viable at the conference, without being a pushy person?
(I may edit this and flesh it out a bit, and am tagging it web22talk as I work on that. Hope that isn’t too confusing. I think I’m behaving in a wiki-ish way on a blog platform. Tsk tsk.)