Online communities are very popular on the Internet, as this is where people share their problems and interests, and can be under the form of discussion boards, forums, video or image sharing. Why these online communities become successful is dictated by a number of different elements, which the community could not exist without.
However different these communities may be amongst one another, they basically share the same elements with rules and guidelines in order to make them successful. These elements can be listed in 10 fundamental ones, without which an online community cannot live without and be successful.
The community should offer a great design, as this is a very important element for online communities, as it presents the mood and ambience of the community. A design should be simplistic and easy to view, using a good blend of background and foreground colors to enhance the design and the content and information, or interaction they came for.
The design should also be related to the topic of the online community, and should be coherent with the discussion interests and other focal points. Keep in mind that the layout, theme and color scheme matches the type of online community and public that is likely to be interested in it.
The content you use on the online community is built over a certain time span, and should stay focused on the topics and interests or subject matters related to the community. It the content strays to far afield from the initial points of interest, instead of focusing on the people of the community, visitors may start losing interest.
You will also need tools to keep the community alive. Essential tools are the user to user communication tools and ways to get the discussions posted, as these are the elements that keep the community alive.
The community must also evolve, this may be under the form of additional members of the community, extra and enhanced tools for better communication and improvement of design, this will keep the members satisfied that the community is alive and working.
It is important to show members that those behind the creation of the community are also involved and wish to improve it, not only for their own financial interest but for personal satisfaction. A thriving activity will keep the community alive too; otherwise the community will start changing. Keep your community alive, as this will help your attract new members, even though you have a considerable number already. You never know when a faithful member will drop out for any given reason, leaving the community with less interaction.
Feedback and response is another essential issue, as if the community is lacking in this interaction, members will not be getting the satisfaction they have come for. It is important to respond regularly to member or user feedback, in order to keep them satisfied and loyal to the community, or they may look elsewhere for a feedback and response to their questions.