Building Communities Online

Out of all the sessions at the Blog Business Summit, the session on building online communities held a special place of interest for me. In many ways, I simply happened upon the community that I’ve built at RCG, so it was refreshing to hear the speakers articulating thoughts I’ve had on how to build a community. In many ways, building a community feels somewhat intuitive (i.e. respect your users), but it turns out that the details often lead to tricky minefields. In many ways, this lesson highlighted just how far behind the real estate sphere is in creating effective online communities.

The three panelists, Elisa Camahort, Tara Hunt, Betsy Aoki, have all spent time on the front lines dealing with the good and bad of building up an online community.

Tara Hunt’s background includes running the grassroots marketing of Riya, which launched with a tremendous amount of buzz. On a high level, here are some high level tips for building a community:

  • Let customers “win
About Dustin Luther

As the Director of Engagement at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp, Dustin heads up both the event and the social media teams. In addition to managing Rain City Guide, he also manages Credibility Insights and plays hard on his personal blog.

You can find me on Twitter (@tyr), Facebook (dluther) and Google+ (+Dustin Luther).


  1. Thanks for coming to our session…glad you found some points of interest and relevance toy our experience! (And thanks for reiterating that men are welcome at BlogHer.)

    Just one thing: My name is Elisa, not Eliza…thanks!

  2. Thanks Elisa,

    I just fixed the typos!

  3. Thanks for the write-up — helpful for those of us following along at home. ;)

    Also, it was Caterina Fake of Flickr that Tara was referring to. ;)

  4. “Get a personality”. Does that mean the blog has its own personality? Can you expound on how that one point was driven home?

  5. Ardell,

    I can promise that you have no need to get a personality in any of your blogging endeavors! :)

    To put it in context, Tara (who I talked extensively with over dinner) runs a consulting firm that helps companies use the internet to market themselves. With that in mind, her comments were not really geared toward individuals who blog, but rather companies who try to take on blogging as a way to build up a community. In that sense, it becomes quite important to ensure that a company blog has a personality if it is to get any traction at all!

  6. Dustin – as one who will soon be attempting to forge a real estate-related community, I appreciate your coverage of the conference. It’s great to hear about the little (but important) problems/solutions others have encountered that one would not think of when starting a community.


  7. Thanks Tyler,

    Other people, like Paul, are doing a better job of covering “all” the events. I’ve been focusing on the sessions that are focused to enterprise-level blogging (and social media), and a lot of these sessions are necessary relevant to RCG readers. Nonetheless, I may try to do a summary post because I find these topics particularly interesting! :)


  1. Blog Business Summit News…

    /images/33632-31387/powwow.jpg”>Hey, there’s a Blog Business Summit going on in Seattle this week and Dustin from RCG is covering it. The conference blog itself is rich reading and highly recommended. Here are a few of my favorite posts from the conf…

Speak Your Mind