Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, May 19, 2003

Effective Communities - Beyond Chatrooms, Forums And Mailing Lists

= interesting, promising
Online Service - Community Platform
FREE to try

Nonetheless chatrooms, live events, forums and conference rooms have been some of the most typical ingredients of online communities, here are some real- world problems that I have myself encountered when trying to to build a Web community:

Chatrooms - They are good for a few people to arrange an online meeting. Not good even for tens or hundreds to try and talk all at once. very difficult to manange once you get beyond 15-20 people.

Online Events - Excellent for one-time presentations and showcases. Good for two-way moderated events. But unless they are part of a mandatory curriculum require too much synchronization and discipline to be easily attended by any large group. Moderation is expensive and it requires qualified staff.

Mailing Lists - Mail-based distribution lists work well when people are given opportunity to exchange, share and inreact with other with like-minded interests. Two way lists tend to easily become redundant, repetitive and noisy, and difficult to read when there are more than 8-10 posts per day.

Web Boards - WebBoards are really only effective for those involved enough to read them on a regular basis. Most people will only monitor a few such boards and not certainly on a daily basis.

Member Directories - Unless they are effectively searchable they are hardly useful. Even when they are, contact must normally be made one member at a time after reading each possibly relevant entry. Very time consuming.

Moderation - Moderation is expensive, be it in time, or, if moderators are on the staff, money. If a community uses moderation, the costs of moderation tend to be proportional to community size, and thus act as a barrier to scaling up otherwise successful small communities.

Ian Dickson and the other two founders of CommKit looked at how social networks and communities function and then worked at providing those functionalities online, at a cost that could be afforded by many small, medium and non-profit organizations.



An interesting new technology developed independently by CommKit provides a new community platform for organizations, schools, universities and interest groups at the most cost-effective price on the market.

CommKit technology provides the infrastructure needed to develop rich and self-sustainable communities. List servers, Web Boards, Bulletin Boards, Conferences and ChatRooms do not make for effective communities. They are OK for communities where only a few hundred people are actively involved and even then they require a lot of support and proactive work to make them effective.

If such communities grow to be of thousands of users problems increase as the management and moderation of dicussion lists, conferences and chat areas becomes very complex and expensive.

Effective social networks, self-sustainable mind ecosystems or communities are generally created around many interest-driven discussion groups (a-la-YahooGroups), ability for members to create new threads and discussions, clever and advanced profiling of community members (allowing personalized control of one's own preferences), email integration, ease of access.
CommKit can be considered part of a new generartion of tools being categorized as Social Software.

With CommKit the Community dialogue can be easily carried out from your email client from where you receive directly any new post, can make new ones, and can subscribe and unsubscribe from any discussion group.

File and attachments of all kinds can be simply sent and shared inside the CommKit-powered community. Multi-language capability is upcoming in the summer with a major new release.

Multiple CommKit communities can also potentially interlink with each other creating greater opportunities for collaboration and exchange for all of their members.

With indicative pricing information indicating costs for a 2000-3000 member community of about € 3000/year CommKit positions itself to provide a highly cost-effective new platform providing easy scalability to fast growing communities.

To be followed.

FREE TRIAL - if you like what you have just read above and think you have a community that will benefit from this type of solution, take advantage of CommKit THREE MONTH FREE TRIAL. This will include all set up and support at no cost if you mention you have heard from Robin Good it here first.

Please direct your questions about CommKit to:
CommKit Ltd,
PO Box 240, Gloucester, GL3 4YE.
Telephone 01452 862637

If you want to find out more, subscribe to MasterMind Explorer.
Get a full review of CoomKit in the upcoming end-of-month issue.
Subscribe to MasterMind Explorer here.

Readers' Comments    
2004-08-08 17:39:42


Sounds like this could be very effective for all kinds of communities and businesses.

posted by Robin Good on Monday, May 19 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




Real Time Web Analytics