I have been exploring online communities much more actively over the past month or so. I have been a bit player over time, and have trapsed in and out of them, but I’m now on a mission. Prompted by a promised Facebook group that didn’t seem to go anywhere, I (finally?) created a Facebook account for the Office 2.0 Conference. I can’t say that I’m a Facebook addict like some, but it has seriously opened my eyes to the platform aspect of online communities. The development ecosystem around Facebook is fascinating, but that’s another post.
I then discovered MotionBased and the marriage of that with Facebook in MyMotionBased. I am becoming an active runner thanks to my wife introducing me a few years ago and some enthusiastic friends at work (hi guys!). I picked up a Garmin Forerunner recently… then discovered MotionBased. Wow. Dangerous tools in the hands of a geek. Not only does MyMotionBased give you wicked cool 3-D visualizations via Google Earth:
But you can even view animations of runs, and dot racing to “compete” against others. All of this, courtesy of docs at the MotionBased wiki (note: need to create user page).
So this has me thinking about what do people really want from an online community?
I want to discover new running routes. I want to be able to compare myself against my friends. I want to be able to share running experiences with them when I run apart from the group – show them my successes and struggles. I want to keep enjoying my hobby, even when I can’t be out there doing it. I want to play with feeds and APIs.
But that’s me, not everyone. What do you want from online communities?
Sidenote: it’s a good month for dreamjobs, unfortunately for them I am happy at my current employer. MotionBased is hiring web developers.