What makes an online community and do you see yourself belonging to one?

With sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube becoming more and more popular over the past few years, online communities have started growing rapidly – with online fandoms being created for acts such as One Direction, Justin Bieber, and more recently, YouTubers.

The Web Strategist blog defines an online community as “bodies of people loosely joined together by a common interest that exchange information using web tools” which I think is true for most of the current online communities, such as the One Direction fandom, who use Twitter and Tumblr to create fanpages (some with up to 500,000 followers such as this account), where they will engage with each other, post information about about the band (such as unseen pictures and videos, as well as ‘facts’ they are aware of). These kinds of pages are used also to attract the bands attention and gain ‘follows’ from the members, which is interaction that fans would never have been able to have before Twitter became such a popular site.

I personally do see myself belonging in an online community as I watch a lot of YouTubers, who I am subscribed to on YouTube, but I also follow on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, as well as following other people who are interested in them, too. I feel like by using all of these websites to connect with the particular YouTuber, viewers feeling more included and feel as if they know the YouTuber on a personal level, meaning their interest in the person and their videos stays for longer as we are receiving more than just a video once a week.

 

References:

Owyang, J. 2007. Defining The Term: “Online Community”. Web-Strategist, [blog] 28th December, Available at: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/12/28/defining-the-term-community/ [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014].

Twitter.com. n.d. One Direction Fans (1DirectionFans) on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/1DirectionFans [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014].

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