The case for on-line communities

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The case for on-line communities

“Users of the community features of World Wide Web sites really are more valuable than nonusers.”

The McKinsey Quarterly, 2002 Number 1, Web exclusive

Policy relevance:

To anticipate the right policy decisions in the field of online developments, policy makers have to be aware what Internet developments are heading our way. Stakeholders with websites should also look at ways to enhance and increase the visits to their positions on their sites.

Main conclusions:

  • Many myths have been laid to rest since the Internet bubble burst, but a cherished if previously untested principle – the idea that an online community can increase the ‘stickiness’ of a website and the value of users to it – is proving true;
  • There are seven broad business models: four specifically for the business-to-consumer (B2C) area (auction sites, e-tailers, financial services, and media and content) and three which could be applied in the B2C, business-to-business (B2B) or both (sales and support, marketplaces, intranets and extranets);
  • The more a person uses the community features of a site, the more that person tends to visit it and to make purchases there;
  • For both news sites and entertainment sites, community features boost performance on the sessions per person, the total page views per person per session and the retention rate;
  • Top performing sites excel in the following three key areas: design, implementation and management.

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