Considerations in the Development of Commercially Based Online Communities
From Virtual Communities
Dorine Andrews, Georgetown University
Hagel and Armstrong, in their 1997 book Net.gain, proclaim an approach for transforming people into avid and loyal customers who generate continuous revenue streams through the ihpowerlu of online community. However, current economic realities suggest that implementing commercially based online communities is not the economic savior for Internet businesses as suggested. More over, commercial online communities may be fraught with issues not encountered in the early years of online community development. This paper explores two of the issues, audience characteristics and business model alternatives, that must be considered before attempting to use online community as a customer loyalty and revenue building feature.