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Examples of Successful Online Communities

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

We don’t have enough success stories, that’s a shame. Here are some thriving online communities you might like to explore.

  1. Mumsnet. My favourite community. Highly active, highly ambitious, highly important to members. Has interviewed 2 Prime Ministers and companies clamour for their attention.
  2. Teachers Connect. 4,279 posts in the last 24 hours. The community for teachers. A great example of why forums still succeed where other platforms fail.
  3. Barista Exchange. A great example of clear, effective, Ning design creating a decent online community for today’s Baristas.
  4. Threadless. Designers unite, this is the coolest community for one of the coolest audiences. A true example of building a business for a community and not a community for a business. Buy the book too.
  5. SK-GamingGame-mechanics overload and a very active online community for today’s top gamers. If your custom designing a site, this isn’t a terrible design.
  6. ModelMayhem. Models and photographers have a place to meet. Again, simple forum software reigns supreme.
  7. CommunityCare. A place for social workers to meet. Does a good job of mixing content and community.
  8. TriiibesSeth Godin’s juggernaught, based on Ning. Highly active. Expanding further. Stays exclusive and keeps high activity. New members are added when activity drops.
  9. StudentRoom. Is fighting a winning battle to retain members in the Facebook age. Very active, very useful, very good example for keeping activity high.
  10. FIFAAlmost 10m posts and counting. Why is a community about a video game so much more popular than any other product? Figure that out and you’re on to a winner.
  11. TripAdvisor. They don’t get much more successful than this travelling behemoth. An amazing influence on the travelling community and a staggering collection of knowledge.
  12. Geneva Web Communications. I wanted a simplicity example. This is a highly active group for people that work in web communications in Geneva. It’s a simple Google Group that works because it’s simple. Try it for your profession in your city.
  13. MyGarden. The place to be for the UK’s gardeners. Highly active and very useful. The dominant UK gardening community.
  14. PoliceOneYou wont be able to see the private forums, but they’re busy. This is thecommunity for USA’s law enforcement officers. Each member is confirmed by badge number. The only place where they can talk privately.
  15. HSBC. Strangely, a branded community makes the list. HSBC is becoming a good place for local business owners to chat.
  16. British Farming Forum. A forum for British farmers. Another example of a simple forum finding great success.
  17. Accountant Forums. If you’re an accountant, this is one of many places you can share advice and ideas with fellow accountants.
  18. Pampers Village. One of the few branded online communities for a commodity product. Recently seems to be struggling, however.
  19. Real Women of Philadelphia. Initially a competition, now expanding into a moderately active online community.
  20. Betty Crocker. A highly active online community of women sharing recipes around the Betty Crocker brand.

Look carefully at the platform they use, how they arrange the landing page, what topics consumers talk about and the types of discussions that generate conversations. Can you spot these 3 types of interactions in action?

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