Websites as Community

A lot of what we’ve been doing of late here at revolves around an idea of  Websites as Community. Beginning with the Members App, and continuing with Forums and Guestbooks, among others, we’ve been making it easier than ever to nurture and grow a website –once a dead, static repository for data and information –into a thriving, dynamic hub of activity.

We at *love* Websites as Community because of the benefits of self-sufficiency and relevance that come with giving control of your website to your audience. Once you’ve laid the foundations and the focus of your site, and attracted the right visitors, the old practices of site maintenance and updates transform into a fun, engaging dialogue. As you give your community a voice, your community gives your site interesting and relevant content to help it grow in a virtuous cycle.

To illustrate just what I mean, I was recently inspired by the story of one of our star sites, Inuyasha Movies.

This site creator worked hard to create the perfect site for fans of the Anime series Inuyasha. After creating tons of valuable content, our member grew his audience, made weekly updates, and –here’s the crucial part –started connecting them, via a chat, forums, a wiki, and by enabling comments on videos, photos, and other content.

Then, a webmaster’s worst nightmare happened. For perosnal reasons, IYMovies was cut completely off from his website for an entire month! For many sites and blogs, even those with a regular audience, to go for such an extended period without any updates can spell serious trouble for a site. But for members of Inuyasha Movies, the owner’s absence –while painful –did not prevent engagement with the site. Site members kept right on returning to discuss the site and the anime, and to carry on connecting to each other over the topic that they love.

We’re very glad to have IYMovies back with us, and we’re thrilled that his site and community held together during his time away from the site. Now, IYMovies can resume updating and pruning the community that he has created.

Last week, launched an exciting new social feature to revolutionize photo galleries. Site members, given the proper permission, are now able to upload and post their own photos to share with the entire site community. Start a gallery just for members, or take a back seat and see what they come up with!

As always, we look forward to seeing the amazing & unique ways that our sites will use this new tool to connect, share, and grow sites focused on the interests their users love!

The Webs Team

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