For the last three weeks or so, I’ve dedicated time to forging a presence within my chosen community, The Net Set. As outlined in Finding My Community: The Net Set, The Net Set is driven by fashion conscious individuals, keen to share their love of style and find sartorial inspiration.
Although a fairly new online community, and somewhat microscopic compared to giants like Reddit and Youtube, users on The Net Set are active, and produce a significant amount of content, largely photos and comments. Both of the aformentioned aspects, along with the ability to join a “Style Tribe” in which you can share your fashion interests with like minded individuals, lay the foundations for what, perhaps, could develop into a much larger community.
The Net Set, as an interactive App, perhaps emphasises the world’s “changing notion of community”, as mentioned in Potts and Murphies’ Culture and Technology.
My experience within The Net Set has been positive, yet challenging at times. As discussed in The Net Set: Progress Report- Part One, the initial phases of creating a profile on the App were very simple. Joining “style tribes”, finding people to “admire”, and posting photos to my profile was a cinch, which is perhaps the essential element to creating an online platform people want to use.
The real challenge came to creating success and status within the Net Set community. In The Treachorous Path to Popularity: The Net Set , I describe the difficulties in taking the first steps towards building a recognisable presence within my community. The key players, or “professional groups” and “midfluencers” as coined by Oatway, are intrinsically linked to popularity within the community. Once you’re “in” with the aforementioned two of “The Big Five”, your community reach has the potential to grow exponentially. But how to put it popularity and profile growth into practice?
A guiding light throughout this entire assessment has been the Week 8 reading, Jay Oatway’s Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader. Within the reading, Oatway outlines the key ingredients to developing a successful presence within the online sphere. Although I was initially hesitant to believe social media status could be distilled into a science, after consciously interacting with what Oatway coins “The Big Five” (Oatway, 2012), I noticed a significant increase of traffic on my profile.
Although I have not succeeded in gaining thousands of admirers, the small impact I have made within the Net Set community, discussed on my blog post The Net Set: Progress Report- Part Two, highlights how growth of status within all online communities can be largely contributed to being an active user in the appropriate manner. Harking way back to Adrian Miles’ discussion of “Network Literacy”, being a respected member of an online community requires an understanding of “social, collaborative…”(Miles,2007) language. I feel as though, throughout this assessment, I have gained a greater understanding of this language, as well as the key factors in operating within an online community.
Looking ahead, I plan to continue building my profile within the Net Set, all while trying to retain the “coolness” Oatway (Oatway,2012) pinpoints as a fundamental part of being successful within a community.
- Miles, Adrian 2007, ‘Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge [online]’, Screen Education, No. 45, pp. 24-30.
- Oatway, Jay 2012 ‘How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader’, Mastering Story, Community, and Influence, pp. 97-109.