TESCO ORCHARD

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The Orchard at Tesco is an online community founded by the well-know supermarket, Tesco. There are a lot of benefits you can get once you sign up and become a member because what it does is actually testing certain Tesco products by offering them for free to the online members and collecting feedback from them afterwards.

I find it a great online community especially for students who are living on a budget and this not only an opportunity not to spend a lot of money on food, but also a chance to try something different than you usually purchase and who knows, maybe you will love it. I believe everybody went through this at least once when they saw something new on the shelves, but didn’t buy it because they don’t know if they would enjoy it.

 

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Both challenges and limitations appear when you actually begin the process and you realize you need to take surveys in order for the Orchard to build your profile and see if you would be the target audience for any of their products. This is not only complicated, but also annoying sometimes if they interpret your answers wrongly and you end up receiving food that you hate. However, you can always see what feedback other people gave about it and start an actual conversation with other online members.

You can check it out by yourself at Tesco Orchard and see if you’d like to try it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The EARTH without ART is just EH

In the past few years I’ve found myself to be very into photography, as an amateur, of course. I’ve been given a camera for my 15th birthday, and right after that I decided, that my commitment is to take photos of everything and everyone I see. And then put them online, indeed. So I started looking for an appropriate platform that would allow publishing works, receiving and leaving feedback and observing creations of other people. From all of the many websites I chose DeviantArt.

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DeviantArt (originally deviantART) was launched on August 7, 2000 in Los Angeles, California and was defined as “the world’s largest online art gallery and community”. In July 2011 it was the 13th largest social network, and by 2013 the number of users reached 25 million. Quite impressive for an art gallery, huh? Artworks on DeviantArt may include photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, filmmaking and any other type of art imaginable. DeviantArt was one of the first social networks in the 21st century to introduce such functions as messaging centre, emoticons, galleries for photos and videos, square avatar icons and personalized profiles. However, one of the few disadvantages is the fact that DeviantArt doesn’t have any review for potential copyright, so artworks can be violated unless reported.

Why do I consider DeviantArt to be an online community? The answer’s quite simple – it’s users interact with each other. Directly – by sharing, comenting and liking artworks, indirectly – by simply inspiring or being inspired by someone else’s painitng or photograph. I think, this kind of inspiration is much more valuable than the one you get from cheeky quotes on such platforms as Tumblr. It is so, because you know that this amazing photograph of sunset or this painting of a girl were made my real people, who you may contact and share your amazement with.

What do you think? Have you ever used DeviantArt or any other similar platforms? If so, what did you use it for?

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Artwork by t1na, DeviantArt.

Trip Advisor: The power of online communities

TripAdvisor is among the world’s largest online travel community with over 20 million monthly visitors to the popular online community, it effectively provides recommendations for hotels, resorts, inns, vacation packages and even travel guides.

What is effective about the website is that it allows its users to have the freedom of moving quickly from one category to another and this means that people have the freedom and are able to comment in different categories. What I find particularly interesting about the site is that it has a sense of togetherness and the way that people comment allows for a flow of conversation between the members.

I think the members benefit from the site because it allows users to post their experiences about tours, express opinions, recommend hotels, resorts, inns, vacations, travel packages, vacation packages, post questions and answer or advise other members of the forum. Users can also post photos and videos of their tours. So therefore the community of people has helped others have a good holiday experience due to the content that they are allowed to post.

You can say that the site itself is one of the most successful sights in engaging an online community of travellers. With the help of the rant or rave section it can literally determine a hotels reputation.

It’s strange how we as a community have so much power. What are your thoughts?

By Demi Bailey-Paul

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Tumblr

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It could be said that Tumblr is a website where online communities can be found. At least, it was what I first thought of when I was thinking about online communities.

Tumblr is a blogging platform as well as a social networking site. It was founded by David Karp in February 2007 and was acquired by Yahoo! in 2013 for around $1 billion.

The main reason that I think of Tumblr as being a website of online communities is because of the way the website is used by ‘fandoms’. Fandoms are groups of fans of almost anything, from TV shows to movie franchises, to books and musicians. Hundreds of fandoms use Tumblr in a way that is almost like an online community.

As it is a social networking site, this isn’t abnormal. Like Twitter, you can message people who may have a similar interest or blog type and users find a common interest with the thousands of other users who blog about the same thing.

The style of blogposts are also in a conversational style, and the way you can build your own blog shows that there is a more personal side to the website, where users can interact with each other.

Wakie Up, Sleeping Beauty

Maybe enjoying too much the warm blankets in the morning? Or maybe feeling a little bit grumpy when having to leave your pillow? Well, I have the ultimate tip for you and it is called Wakie.

Designed as a social alarm clock, the app offers its members the possibility to set alarms and wake up each other with a one-minute long anonymous voice call. This makes from Wakie a community of 2 million people sharing the same snooze-button syndrome as you do. What is more, the members can choose a topic of interest for themselves and talk to a person with a similar interest up to five minutes.

But what makes Wakie so special among other online communities? Well, a ‘Good morning!’ call, as trivial as it sounds, can set your mood for the rest of the day. A little dose of enthusiasm and positivism in the morning can save you a lot of stress. And there are those five-minute long calls which can be anything from moments of inspiration, boosts of confidence or motivation to simple encouragements. It seems like Wakie can be truly awakening, right?

Because Wakie is a community of people helping people, there are several beneficial outcomes emerging from this participation. Its members enrich themselves with mutually shared life experiences, they start new friendships, or socialise and share their problems with each other. Sometimes a stranger is the listener you need the most.

However, there are certain limitations that come with the package. A problem would be the duration of the calls. Considering there are strangers talking with other strangers, they need more than five minutes to become comfortable with each other prior to any serious discussion. Also, it is challenging keeping a sleepy on the right track and avoid one to hung up the phone when getting a ‘Good morning’ call, isn’t it?

So, try it and if it does not work for you, at least you will have a funny story to tell.

Would you consider becoming part of such an unconventional community?

 

WordPress Online Community

When we log onto our WordPress accounts, we are prompted to pick which site we want to be on (if you have more than one site). Each site indicates a different community one would find themselves in. In one of my WordPress communities I am given a topic to write about and expected to comment to two other posts. The other community I am a part of on WordPress is for a creative writing class where I can write whatever I want, whenever I want and some of my friends and family back home see my posts because they want to know what’s going on in my life while abroad. I think with a community such as WordPress we can even take a step back and look at it as a whole. Within the WordPress community there are tons of subgroups. People are given permission to follow topics and bloggers that interest them, giving bloggers the power to create their own communities through the topics they write about.

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Online groups can be considered communities because they display psychological and cultural qualities of real life communities we live in. They have shared space, practices, identity, resources and support, and interpersonal relationships. I think WordPress is a positive online community because people are allowed to personalize their content and specify what they want to consume. It isn’t a community that forces all to follow the same heard or divides anyone into a community that would make them feel alone. Challenges and limitations come in the form of controlling self expression. It is important that people can still be understood by their audience but also blogs are personal. Where the line is drawn could get confusing.

Online Dating.

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Since the drastic surge of the web 2.0, in the last 20 years online dating has become an extremely prominent and well used form of online community, by people from an array of different walks of life. With around two thousand five hundred online dating websites, in the U.S alone, active at this present time such as ‘match.com’ or ‘pof.com’, this massive community has millions of subscribers and members world wide. This form of community, although having a seemingly bad reputation at times, has become extremely popular among select age groups, mostly being from the ages of 18-24 (27%, which is nearly triple of what it was ten years ago!) and 35-44 being the prominent users of these websites that have been surging sky high in the last ten years. In the United States 59% of people believe ‘that online dating is a good way to meet people’. The stigma behind online dating that ‘people who use online dating sites are desperate’ has also decreased from 29% to 23%, showing how the increase of acceptance and popularity among these communities are becoming bigger and bigger.

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This community has enabled people to access that seems as if it’s almost ‘practice’ for dating in the real world. Up to 60% of people who use these websites never actually meet face-to-face with the people they interact with, showing that this like a preparation for future dating technique. But I feel as if the two most popular age groups seem to be the ones that are most nervous about interaction with the other sex. There are even selective dating websites such as ‘elitesingles.co.uk’, were they choose whether you’re suitable for their community. Overall, this is a drastically growing form of online community that is becoming very popular and the norm in the publics eye. The question i would like to ask you is if you feel this is a healthy community that brings happiness to people? Or, do you feel that online dating websites could cause problems among select ages groups when it comes to confidence, or feel there are any other constraints that these communities provide?

Here’s some examples of these communities –

https://www.elitesingles.co.uk

http://www.pof.com

http://www.match.com

– Jed.