A catchment area defines the geographic boundaries within which a particular service, organization, or community operates and serves a specific population. It establishes the area from which individuals or entities are expected to access and benefit from the services, resources, or activities provided. Catchment areas can be defined based on factors such as proximity, convenience, or administrative jurisdictions and play a role in determining the allocation of resources, planning service delivery, and assessing community needs.
In the context of an online community, a catchment area could refer to the virtual boundaries that define the target audience or user base of the community. These boundaries may be determined by shared interests, demographics, or specific criteria set by the community. For example, an online support group for parents of infants may define its catchment area as parents with children between the ages of 0-1. Understanding the catchment area of an online community helps in tailoring content, discussions, and engagement strategies to meet the specific needs and interests of the intended audience. It also assists in community growth and outreach efforts by targeting individuals who fall within the defined catchment area and align with the community's goals and purpose.