In the world of Web 2.0, interactivity and community are the watchwords. Organizations have learned that establishing a virtual community (that is, an online community), while difficult, is essential to thriving in the new marketplace. By adding community technology to a Web site, visitors are encouraged to add their voices to the interaction between the site content and other visitors. Communication occurs through a variety of site features, including chat rooms, forums, personal pages, guestbooks, polls, commenting systems, social networking, event calendars, and wiki systems.
Whether the virtual community is a loose gathering of participants (such as consumers entering product reviews on the target Web site) or the intensive daily use of MySpace, the rewards are significant in terms of traffic and site ranking. The development of Joomla itself is a success story in terms of creating a sustained online community that has fostered a thriving forum
(forum.joomla.org), an active user-contribution directory with visitor commenting (
extensions.joomla.org), and a high-volume, user-submitted site directory (
www.joomla.org/content/blogcategory/35/69). Joomla wouldn't be thriving without the embrace of the community technologies by the system user.
Fostering an online community or social network takes careful deployment and the coordination of many different pieces of technology. Unlike a traditional static Web site, a virtual community accepts input ...