You’re probably already part of an online community or two. Think of the newsletters you receive from your favourite blog,or the homemade recipes you contribute to a Facebook group, or how you keep up-to-date with old friends in a university alumni group on LinkedIn.
Online communities have become an integral part of our lives. They are social networks created on the internet, formed around a common interest, occupation, or geographical location. These groups can also be based on hobbies such as knitting or photography. Online communities give us a sense of belonging and help us feel less alone in a constantly changing world. They allow us to share information, knowledge, and experiences with others who are interested in the same things.
What defines an online community?
Communities are made up of people. At its root, an online community is a group of people with a shared interest or purpose who use the internet to communicate with each other.
Online communities have their own set of guidelines and need to help each person understand how to interact in the community; these are usually overseen by moderators. Community objectives can range anywhere from holding one another accountable to solving real-world challenges.
A shared sense of purpose helps community members come together to achieve a goal or solve a problem. Educators, for example, want to socialize, form friendships, share teaching tips, classroom experiences, lesson plans, job opportunities, and more.
What types of online communities are available?
- Discussion forums: these online communities have a specific topic that members discuss in detail. Topics can vary from education to sports to cooking.
- Social networks: these online communities provide an opportunity for people to connect with each other and share their personal lives.
- Blogs allow individuals to share their thoughts and ideas with others who may not know them personally.
- Forums: these online communities are usually organized by category, and they allow users to post messages related to a common topic.
Characteristics of great online communities
Think broadly about everyone involved – how will they benefit from the community, and how inclusive is the space? If it’s an online community for educators who use Kitso, the purpose is to learn, educate, and network with other educators and parents.
Communities are vibrant & multi-dimensional
A great community thrives because of the people who are part of it. People are unpredictable, creative, and diverse; and creating a space for them to interact and engage can seem overwhelming.
Break down the traditional one-way exchange of information and welcome feedback, tap into people’s unique perspectives and invite them to share their expertise and knowledge with others. This can help inspire engagement and relevant connections.
Whether your passions lie in community or advocacy, our Kitso WhatsApp learning bot will equip you with the digital tools to create a safe online community. You’ll learn the tools needed to connect with people all over the world who might be able to support your cause.
We are passionate about internet safety and making the world safer for children by equipping educators and parents with Kitso, our innovative Internet safety skills bot. We’ve also created a community of our own with our Ilizwe Lam Educator’s Facebook Group, which gives teachers the opportunity to connect, share tips and learn more about internet safety.
Say ‘Hi’ to Kitso today!
Packed with interactive quizzes, engaging graphics, and audio content, Kitso will captivate you throughout your journey, as you learn:
- Introduction To Your Online Presence
- Protecting Your Privacy
- Navigating False Information
- Building Your Online Community
- Digital Tools For The Classroom
- Using Digital Tools To Make A Difference
Just say hi to Kitso, our free WhatsApp learning bot that will aid you with valuable Internet safety skills for your future!