Online Communities – Do They Make You Feel At Home?





Are you part of an online community?

Do you visit a single place every day, share your feelings, and take part in conversations?

If you aren’t, you should. Online Communities can be an amazing place. For my writing, I’ve been part of the AW Forums since January. It’s offered some great things:

  • I learned a great deal about grammar, structure, and things to avoid
  • I found my first two beta readers
  • I was part of some great Blog Circles (where I received great feedback and read some some lovely shorts)
  • I found people I admire now follow
  • I have received some great traffic from AW

That is all about to change, though. For I am leaving and taking my thoughts elsewhere.


Why I’m Leaving AW

Without going into specifics, I’ve come to heads with a moderator or two. I mainly frequent the Book Promotion and Self-Publishing sections, because this is where I feel I can best contribute.

Simply put, I don’t feel welcome. It feels like I have a teacher hovering over my shoulder ready to pounce. The most recent, and final comment, accused me of being a ‘Spammer’. This hit me hard, because if there’s one thing I hate is those pesky companies that SPAM.

To be accused of this hurt

So I thought about it, and decided: why be part of a community where I feel on edge?

There are many to choose from. Frankly, life’s too short. There are too many tasks and too little time.


What You Can Learn From This

I write this post for two reasons. As a writer I feel you are part of two types of community:

  • Those you Visit
  • Those you create

There are many communities you can be part of. Some will be general like AW, whereas others are specific to your genre. Maybe you’re part of five, or maybe just one. All I ask is to consider this: What are you getting out of it?

And I don’t mean website traffic or book sales. I mean do you feel welcome, part of the community, and surrounded by like minded people. Weigh the good versus the bad and see which wins.

This is what I did, and I’m afraid the bad came out victorious.

What about you? Are you getting enough out of your community?


What About Those You Create?

If you have a Blog, you’ve created a community. You don’t own this community, though. You merely serve it.

In my experiences, moderators are usually power hungry maniacs. Sure they have a tough job, but they seem to have little patience for new people. I personally find this very sad.

Serve your community, don’t dictate it. Give people a chance. If they leave a comment or send an email, be a good host. Serve them. If they take it for granted, send them a courteous email i reply. Don’t hang them in the town centre for everyone to point and laugh.

Did you know I have a Facebook Page dedicated to my writing? I’m inviting fellow writers & readers to LIKE my page and join the fun. If you do so in July you’ll be entered into a Free Prize Draw where one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon Voucher & a 1-Hour Consultancy Chat with ME!

It’s not about the prize, though, it’s about engagement. I’ll be using my Facebook Page to document my writing, showcase samples and designs, and create competitions and polls to get your feedback. Doesn’t that sound fun?

All you have to do is Press Like.

I Merely Serve You

I’m in awe each day. Those who join my mailing list, add me to their RSS Feed, and come back again and again. I can’t believe it. I find it crazy how people care what I say.

I try my best to serve you with information you need. Will I get things wrong from time to time? Sure I will. Even the greatest husband will make his wife angry from time to time.

I now go in search of a new community to be part of, which I find sad because I really liked the AW Forums. Life’s too short, though. I want to be part of communities that inspire and make me excited to visit. Not make me fearful of making  a wrong step.

What community do you serve?

Do you serve with charm or malice?

If you can recommend a Writing Community, please do so below. I’m now in search and would love your help.

Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million

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