Members of a community differentiate themselves by forming smaller organized groups that represent sub-interests on a community theme. The larger the group the more probable these subgroups will exist. Sub-interests are a healthy part of strong group dynamics in any community.
For example, you may have a community for senior executives which contains special interest groups for marketing executives, sales executives, and those interested in finance. While the members are interested in "issues concerning executives" these subgroups let them address how issues specifically influence a particular segment of the whole.
Subgroups add value to a larger organization or resources. Segments can be based on topical interests, specific concerns, or any variation as desired by group members. They further differentiate the individual participant and focus more closely to their own objectives.
Most subgroups still support the larger objectives and mission of the community. Participation is largely determined by the individual themselves, and often require membership in the larger community.
Problems occur when subgroups compete or run contrary to the larger mission-- at this point the subgroup should be removed or invited to adjust the thinking of the larger community. Conflicts in segmentation can help you measure the needs of your members while growing the value of the larger community.
Listen to your members and the whole community will benefit.
/ active-members | b2b-websites /
By Justin Hitt at October 25, 2003 5:10 PM Subscribe in a reader