Online communities allow people with common interests to engage online. Ask questions, discuss issues, share content, or work together towards a common objective.
People who share your interests or have similar experiences are becoming easier to find as social media, chat forums, and blogging platforms grow in popularity.
How to join an online community? Sounds simple right? It is, but not everyone knows how to do it.
Let’s find out here :
Find a community that is right for you
Once you start researching online communities, you will find that there are tons of different types of communities.
- Identify communities that have a shared interest or niche with you, that suit your interests on social media ( Facebook group, a Twitter community …. ) or websites.
- Look for communities that provide help and support.
- Find communities that are active in posting and responding. The best online communities are those where there is meaningful discussion, debate, dialogue, and conversation between members of the group.
- Seek out groups that provide a sense of belonging. Some people use online communities to make friends or find social support because they do not feel connected within their real-life circles or family networks.
- Research areas where members share a common goal or objective and create synergy by sharing resources, knowledge, and information to achieve something together as part of the community.
Learning How To Find The Right Online Community
The good news is that there are many different options for finding the perfect online community. You can look on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You can search blogs or forums. Or you can use a specialized search engine. Which option you choose depends on your specific needs and goals for joining an online community.
In general, however, it’s best to join a community based on a shared interest or skill, or based on shared demographics (such as age group).
For example, if you love to cook Indian food, you might consider joining an Indian cooking fan page on Facebook. That way you can interact with other members and share ideas and recipes!
Doing Your Research Before Joining
- Do your research before deciding to join a community. You want to make sure that the online community you plan on joining is the right fit for you and your goals. To do this, simply type in the name of the group or organization into a search engine and see what pops up. If there are posts from members with information about their experiences, read through some of them. Also, check out their Facebook page or Twitter page to get a feel for what the community is about and if it’s something you would be interested in being a part of.
- If you can’t find any information on whether an online group is right for you, consider searching for other groups that may be more suitable instead.
If you find the right online communities, they can help you grow in a certain skill or interest.
The good ones are easy to find, but it’s important that you know what makes a good one before you join.
A good community:
- has clear purpose
- is generally friendly and welcoming
- is active and stable with a few regulars who have been in the community for a long time
- has strong moderation, meaning no harassment or bullying
When you are in: Be active
Listen to the conversation
The best way to do this is by listening. Yes, you read that correctly. Listening. This is not about what your first post should be about or what you could say to make a good impression, this is about learning how the community works and whether it will be a good fit for you.
That way, if and when your time comes to speak up in the community, you’ll have some idea of what (and how) others are saying.
- What subject matters are being discussed?
- How are members engaging with one another?
- How often do they post?
- What tone of voice is being used? The answers to these questions will help you get an idea of their expectations and culture so that you can adjust your own approach accordingly and blend in more easily as someone who has been part of the group for a while.
Choose a username that’s original and memorable
Choose something that is easy for you to remember and hard for others to guess.
For example, avoid using common words like “the” or “a.” Don’t use consecutive numbers or letters in your username. A good username should also be easy to pronounce.
You may choose a username based on something about yourself. It could be a play on your real name, a nickname people call you by, or a part of your real name.
There are no rules against using your real first name as your username. If privacy is something that concerns you, then picking a unique but similar username will help protect some of your privacy online.
Identify exactly what the community needs.
Rather than just asking in the comments section, consider submitting something more substantial like a script for an upcoming post or even your own writing on the topic!
Show off what skills you’ve got by letting everyone know that yes, you really do know how to fix this sort of problem.
Be yourself when contributing regardless of whether others agree with what you write.
The point is not only to share knowledge and expertise but to make new friends across communities too.
Don’t get discouraged if you feel like no one is listening
When you’re new to an online community, it can be disappointing to feel like no one is listening to what you have to say. However, that doesn’t mean that the community is flawed or broken. It just means that people don’t always have the same interests.
It’s important to remember that your contributions are valuable and worthwhile—and worth waiting for.
Another user may come along later who shares your passion and sees what’s great about what you have to say!
It’s all a matter of patience and keeping in mind that everyone has something different they want out of their time online.
It’s all a matter of investment: if you put more time into an online community; by commenting often, inviting friends and family, and sharing interesting content from other websites; you’ll get more out in return.
Respect other people’s boundaries and privacy
It’s important to remember that people have very different boundaries when it comes to privacy and what they feel comfortable sharing with others.
Information that you might share with a close friend about your latest job interview could trigger anxiety for another person who uses your post as an opportunity to out themselves as unemployed.
If you wouldn’t post something publicly, then think twice about posting it in a private group or forum, even if it’s members-only.
If you wouldn’t show it to your boss or on a billboard, don’t share it online!
Avoid starting arguments or flame wars
Avoid starting arguments or flame wars. A flame war is an argument on a message board that quickly escalates into personal attacks, insults, and/or trolling. Flame wars can quickly get out of control. Make sure you’re not the cause of one!
The best way to avoid getting into a flame war is to make sure your initial post was clear and not inflammatory. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and always keep in mind that there’s a real person behind every screen name and avatar.
Think about whether you would say what you’re writing if you were talking to them face-to-face. If it doesn’t feel like something you’d say in person, don’t type it!
Don’t feed the trolls. A troll is typically someone who is intentionally trying to cause arguments and make a community angry. It’s generally best to avoid engaging them in flame wars, but more importantly, if you think one of your community members has a bad reputation, don’t engage them unless you have a valid point that pertains to the conversation.
Top online community’s website
- Stack Overflow: Helping resource for Developer
- Reddit: People can share news and content or comment on other people’s posts.
- HackerNews: specializes in technology and entrepreneurship. It’s a great website to discover new startups, products, trends, and programming languages.
- Quora : A question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.
- Product Hunt : It surfaces the best new products, every day. It’s a place for product-loving enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.
- Slashdot: Slashdot is a news site for nerds and geeks, though there are plenty of subcategories to submit content.
- wikipedia.org : Anyone with internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles
- chegg.com : You can ask a question or set up a study session with an online tutor and chat in real time about the problems you are working on.
- Care.com : mission is simple: to connect families with caregivers and caregiving services.
- iHerb : iHerb is a community of people who are focused on health and wellness.
- Meetup: is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face.
- Mr. Money Mustache : FIRE mouvement
- Nomadlist : Travel as nomad around the world
- Airbnb : Host community
The key to joining an online community is being helpful and being genuine.
If you want people to respond to you, your posts, or whatever it is you are sharing with the group, be a giver.
Share what you have with the group and help others when they ask for help.
You never know, the simple act of kindness may just be enough to gain a response that could lead you on a new journey and it might even change your life for the better. Just Start 🚀