Online community uses Internet as a communication channel, where and people with the same interest join the forum, e-mail list, newsgroup or chat rooms. Online communities usually built around the same passion between people and it can penetrate the geographical boundary. It is common now to see an online community with members from around the world.
Building Online Community ChatRoom
The first global online community was Linux and open source software development. Contrary to the software development model in the big software houses and software companies, the open source development was done in a community of programmers around the world. They communicate using a newsgroup, mailing list and chat room.
In order to build an online communities, we just need to gather people that has the same passion and interest. Linus Torvalds, the initiator of Linux was started the Linux by sending a simple message in a newsgroup, asking for help from people to assist him building a simple operating system for his thesis. Within a matter of months, hundreds of programmers join and now, thousands of programmers involved in the Linux community.
For certain, we don’t have to build interest in the technology field to build an online community. We just need to have devoted and passionate people that will spread our community on a global level. Take for example, the spreading of Korean pop culture.
Case: Korean Wave
One global phenomenon built on online communities is a Hallyu or Korean wave. A Korean pop culture that spread around the world consist of K-Pop for its music, K-Drama for its television drama series.
The success of Korean wave is dictated by its online communities which had been nurtured since the late 1990’s. Time Magazine in August 2010 edition wrote a special report about online communities influences in boosting Korean Pop culture going global.
The culmination of Korean wave was Gangnam Style, the song that become the world’s hype in 2012 and sung by Psy, Korean singer-rapper. Everybody around the world was mimicking Psy’s horse riding dance, its YouTube video was recorded as the first video to hit the 1 billion viewers. Gangnam Style music video in YouTube is now being watched by 2 billion viewers and still the most watched video in YouTube.
Online community, together with social media became the crucial tool or Korean wave to reach audience in markets like U.S. and Europe. Those are traditionally hard-to-access markets, especially for Asian artists; but Korean artists successfully penetrated the market bypassing traditional outlets like radio station and television.
The success of Korean wave in penetrating the hard-to-access market have been supported by some English-language Korean Pop blogs and online communities, such as allkpop.com, soompi, k2nblog, and some others. All of the blogs established their own community, complete with their own forum which cater the international fans for information about their K-Pop artist and activities.
Euny Hong, a Korean-American journalist and writer was moving to Korea in 1985 when she was 12 years old. She went to college in Yale in the 1990’s and witnessed how Korean changed from a disorganized society into a cool and hip nation. In 2014, he wrote a book ” The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture,” talking about how a third-world dictatorship country changed into a democratic country and leading the global technology.
In her book, miss Hong wrote that during the 1997 economic crisis, Korean realized that the growing reliance on big business and conglomerate is the weakness of the country. Therefore, the country shift its economic direction in building IT and digital contents. Korea built a fast Internet connection and pushing forward the content; music, film and video games. With fast Internet connection, online communities flourished and digital content gained higher popularity through online communities. The same pattern also applied in K-Pop international communities.
Korean wave is the solid example of how to embrace a digital community to bring your passion closer and gather people with the same passion. It is common for fans of a certain K-Pop or K-Drama enthusiasts to engage and communicate in forum without knowing the country’s background or other information. They just people with the same passion of a pop culture.
Online Community: Border-less Community
The fandom of Korean pop culture are made of passionate people who most often become fanatic about their favorite actresses, actors or musicians. Such passion is a strong driving force to build a great community.
Nowadays, technology has lessen the challenge on building your community chatroom based on your passion. Technology is no longer the burden to build your community. The most important thing is to find people who shares the same interest and passion with you, then initiating a continuous and intense communication with them.