Fred writes that sustainable online communities have a cause.
I’m not sure that’s true.
Very few thriving examples of online communities are cause-orientated. They don’t begin with a goal, nor end with one.
What separates sustainable communities from the quick-flashes is whether members feel the community is their peer group.
All of these examples are based around peer groups. People go to their community to talk with people that get them. They look to see who’s popularity and rank themselves against others. They participate to increase their standing and make friends in their niche.
Once they look to that community as their peer group they will keep returning, usually every day. That’s what makes a community sustainable, not a cause.