Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rohail's Walamu and the Internet 'Community'

Community is an Internet term for building a strong relationship with and among users of a web site or other online presence. An online Community is based around a group of consumers who share a common interest or goal. A web presence that is able to create a sense of community not only creates a stronger relationship with its customer, but has a better foundation from which to conduct business.
I mentioned the above description because one of my fellow entrepreneurs have launched a remarkable service. Being a smart guy, he has also employed the above technique of using 'Community' in his online works.
For ease of writing, this post will assume the creation of a web site. However, the rules apply to almost any Web presence being developed. The process of creating a community starts during the development process of an online presence. Every person and every business has a choice very early on. They can either create a presence of their own design, and hope their customers likes it when it is complete, or they can bring their customers into the design process and develop a presence the customer has already said they like. Both of these are being used by Rohail's Walamu.com .
There are numerous ways to get customer involved in your website and allow them some sense of ownership over the content. Three example that will allow you to do this include:
1. Holding informal focus groups =, you can have the consumer help design an interface the respond to.
2. Creating an email newsletter prior to the launch of you site that will allow you to generate interest and test ideas that most interests your customers.
3. Developing a promotional sweepstakes you can gather customer information and test basic site plans.