Building Community With Online Communities - Part Two

04/12/2007

For part two of this mini series about online communities, I thought it would be fun to find out what behind launching an online community. Simon Schnieders generously shares his experiences with his new bebe ... Babychums.

Babychums_3 Simon Schnieders: Babychums.com, the place to show off your little star, Social networking for new and expectant mothers.
Founder of Babychums, moderator, programmer, SEO guy, the marketeer and the tea maker. Web design is the only thing that Babychums outsources.

Toby/Diva Marketing: So Simon what's a guy doing in the world of new and expectant moms? Give us the back-story of Babychums.

Simon Schnieders: Babychums.com was an idea born without focusing on commercial drive but what the market needs, the gap and embracing current technologies. From the outset my aim was to have a site that enabled a community in common welfare but also met the search engines need for content, lots of it and unique content at that.

Natural, (Organic) search engine optimization is at the core of a site launch with only a small marketing budget. Babychums was launched in early 2006 and relaunched in 2007 after being released from what is known as the Google sandbox. The sandbox is a search engine marketeers term for a period of containment for new domains, like a child playing in the sandbox before being allowed to play with the big kids. There are exceptions to this rule however.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Seems like an obvious question but who is your target audience?

Simon Schnieders: The community's target audience is the newly mothering female.18-45 with little or no experience of social networking. It's a gentle introduction to social networking, blogging and new media which is why we focus on offering "Free Baby Websites."

Toby/Diva Marketing: How do you define community online?

Simon Schnieders: Community online, I beleive is a common peril, such as mothering, owning a West Highland Terrier or perhaps seeking a relationship. Joking aside, it is the most important aspect of the internet today as we move from real social networks into cyber social networks. I'm not particularly pleased that we've evolved into this but our social needs must be met with our ever changing lifestyles.
Sidebar
: Thanks for the reference to Diva Marketer's mascot, my Westie Max.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What makes your community successful?

Simon Schnieders:  Faith. Without faith it wouldn't exist. Why the community works and indeed supports itself with very little administrator interaction is that it's simple. Functionality is something I spent a long time getting right and tested it with friends of all computing levels.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What are your plans as you move forward to continue to engage your members?

Simon Schnieders: That is something I will continue to ask the members. They drive the community not me, but fear not, it won't be arcade games or bingo. The site is about community welfare. I do however keep a close eye on other social networking sites.

Read Building Community With Online Communities - Part One 
Interview with the Community Diva Nancy White,Full Circle

More Diva Marketing Interviews with people who are building online communities -
Elisa Camahort, BlogHer,Part One, Part Two
Rebecca Weeks, DivineCaroline

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Comments

Babychums.com semms to be a quite good site. But I think it is easier to build a community from a target audeince like this: everybody is proud of her children, everybody likes to talk about him/her, and nearly every member has quite much time to take part in the community- ideal targets for social media.

Posted by: Balazs Balint on Apr 16, 2007 11:47:44 AM

A great example of reaching out to a target audience with a need, and a passion. It makes sense.

Posted by: Geoff Livingston on Apr 16, 2007 6:41:58 PM

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