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What is the state of online community in 2016?

As I noted in my recent round-up of enterprise tech to watch in 2016, the social business industry — which largely runs on community platforms and is the center of gravity of the practice — is in the midst of a growth surge, with compound annual growth of 26% expected through 2019 to become a $23 billion industry. This is a significantly higher growth rate than the entire big data industry, and so it’s good evidence that we’ll continue to see communities become ever more integral to everything we do.

The reason online communities are being used more is simple: Communities have become very efficient and effective vehicles, especially in certain high value functions, for connecting people and information together, while making the resulting knowledge collectively easy to wield and reuse across a wide variety of business functions.

For years now, the respected The Community Roundtable has been tracking the growth of the industry and sharing its data with the world, especially with its widely-followed annual State of Community Management report, or SOCM. The recently released SOCM for 2016 has by far the largest data sampling ever, with data from 339 community programs from around the world.

Keeping your information relevant

People tend to be most engaged with your community when the relevancy of information is aligned with their interests and goals. If a user was to enter a site with no content or too much extraneous content they are more likely to not continue forward. However, if the user is immediately confronted with content and functions that are relevant to their daily needs – the potential for continued engagement improves exponentially.

WorkOutLoud’s Loring Kaveney and Eric Lopez had the honor and privilege to speak at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management’s Entrepreneurial group this afternoon on campus.

A lively and intimate discussion talking about bootstrapping, failures, successes, networking, legal, marketing, and even how serendipity plays a key role in successful start-ups. Tremendous interaction from some very thoughtful young entrepreneurs. Impressed not only with the number of companies that these kids are driving, but also the global nature of a couple of the businesses… mostly Juniors, a few seniors, and even one high school kid that goes full-time at the UofM… Smart!

How comprehensive is your platform’s profiling features?

Member/Customer Profiling represents the most important and foundational features of any community platform and implementation. The Profiling capabilities of your platform have the potential to benefit you and your constituents most and can make the difference in many areas. From suggestions and connections, to information accuracy and analytics. Both the owner and the members/customers benefit from a complete and accessible profile based on end-user administration and policy driven business rules.

More than just a community of users, Digital Concourse, powered by WorkOutLoud also has some of the best and most important product and service vendors supporting our efforts to benefit you and your organizations. Check out Charity Araoz of Lexmark – we help Lexmark be more successful and in turn, they help you be more successful!

Professional business communities sometimes require specific exlusivity, security, and even fees. With WorkOutLoud’s Member Managent “App”, we can integrate your user community experience with member validation, payment, start and stop dates, and more. In addition, our algorithms can detect people of specific organizations that apply to a specific membership…. By using our tools, we help you deliver membership opportunities to both organizations AND/OR individuals.