Fragmented Online Community Management

If readers of this blog hadn’t picked up on it already, I have a slight fondness for a certain British Soap and it’s provided useful as a running theme on some different aspects of online community management.

For a final blog using Coronation Street, I’d like to take a look at fragmented online communities and a world without management. Or at least a world without macro-management.

Check out this Twitter List of Corrie pages, some of which lead to fan sites, forums etc. The tweeters include casual fans, more active community managers, blogs, a number of the actors and even some of the actors’ mums!

The list also contains an official site or two, run by the powers-that-be at ITV. But those aren’t the locations where the community comes alive. It comes alive without a single manager – but with many micro-managers interacting with each other on specific aspects of the programme be it quoting great lines, an upcoming awards ceremony or a particular character on Corrie.

Some micro-managers interacting with each other

This community is thriving and I’ve watched it grow over the past months.

A couple of points I find the most interesting:

1) It’s a community which is sometimes disparate and certainly fragmented, yet knits itself together

2) Managers exist, and fluctuate in dominance, but no single one or group really ‘runs’ the community

And questions to ask:

1) Is this a more democratic form of online community management?

2) Without centralised management, the community is also without a strategy – will it suffer as a result?

What disparate online communities do you know about?

Do they work? Let me know and post them up – I’d love to see some more examples.

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2 Responses to Fragmented Online Community Management

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