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Building Online Communities

"How to" books for those planning to create an online community.

Community Building on the Web:
Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities

by Amy Jo Kim, Apr 2000

From Amazon's description: "Amy Jo Kim is an expert at teaching how to design sites that succeed by making new visitors feel welcome, rewarding member participation, and building a sense of their own history. She discusses important design strategies, interviews influential Web community-builders, and provides the reader with templates and questionnaires to use in building their own communities."

Hosting Web Communities:
Building Relationships, Increasing Customer Loyalty, and Maintaining a Competitive Edge

by Cliff Figallo, Sep 1998

This is the most complete "how to" book I've seen on the subject. Topics include a taxonomy of online communities and their differing needs, choosing software, facilitating discussions, building relationships, and revenue models. The author knows the territory extremely well, having played a key role in developing communities at The WELL, America Online, and Salon Magazine. If you only read one book about building online communities, make it this one.

Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities
by John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong, Mar 1997

Hagel & Armstrong propose a fast-paced, big-bucks business model for commercial online communities. ("Two million dollars will get you in the game," they say.) While I don't believe that theirs is the only viable approach, they are very astute in identifying both the costs and the revenue potential of such ventures. If you're looking to build a commercial community, you'd be well advised to read this book, even if you're planning to start on a smaller scale.

Online Communities:
Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability

by Jenny Preece, Sep 2000

This book focuses on the issue of software design for online communities. Jenny Preece has a strong background in software usability. Here she combines academic research with practical advice to provide valuable insight into how good software infrastructure can help an online community to succeed.

Online Communities:
Commerce, Community Action, and the Virtual University

Edited by Chris Werry and Miranda Mowbray, Dec 2000

Nineteen experts write about the rhetoric and reality of online communities. Explores how they are created, how they function, grow, and develop, and what their participants expect from them. Covers leading models and key lessons for organizers of online communities.

Communities of Commerce:
Building Internet Business Communities to Accelerate Growth, Minimize Risk, and Increase Customer Loyalty

by Stacey E. Bressler and Charles E. Grantham Sr., June 2000
Poor Richard's Building Online Communities:
Create a Web Community for Your Business, Organization, Club, or Family

by Margaret Levine Young and John R. Levine, July 2000
Virtual Communities Companion
by Karla Shelton and Todd McNeeley, Aug 1997
Design for Community
The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places
By Derek M. Powazek


Serious Play
How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate

by Michael Schrage, Tom Peters

Omar R. Hadjar 2002-01-20