Clay Shirky's hula hoops concept describes how online communities and face-to-face interactions are no longer separate, but rather overlap and interact with each other. This means that online communities have become a crucial component of our social structure. In the context of developing a new online community, it is essential to understand the concept of social structure and how it can help us create a successful community
Social structure refers to the patterns of social relationships and interactions that exist within a community. These patterns can be based on shared interests, values, or goals. To develop a new online community, it is essential to understand the social structure of the target audience and design the community accordingly
One way to apply the concept of social structure is to conduct a thorough analysis of the target audience. This analysis should include information about their demographics, interests, and online behavior. Based on this information, the community can be designed to meet the needs and expectations of the target audience
Another way to apply the concept of social structure is to create a strong sense of community identity. This can be achieved by promoting shared values, goals, or interests. The community should also have a clear and defined purpose, which can help members understand the value of their participation
In addition, the community should have a clear social hierarchy, which can help members understand their role within the community. This hierarchy can be based on factors such as membership level, participation, or contribution. By establishing a social hierarchy, members can feel a sense of belonging and recognition, which can increase their motivation to participate and engage with the community
Finally, the community should have a well-defined communication structure. This structure should include guidelines for communication, as well as clear channels for communication. By having a clear communication structure, members can engage in meaningful conversations and discussions, which can help build a strong and cohesive community.
The hula hoops concept by Clay Shirky highlights the importance of online communities in our social structure. To develop a successful online community, it is essential to understand the concept of social structure and design the community accordingly. This includes conducting a thorough analysis of the target audience, promoting shared values and goals, establishing a social hierarchy, and creating a clear communication structure. By applying these concepts, we can create online communities that are engaging, supportive, and impactful.