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What are private online communities?


by Vicki Tambellini , President and CEO,

Private online communities are web pages or groups that are only accessible to people who are invited or who have a password, i.e. a segment of a company’s website that is for “members only.” These kinds of online communities can be used in a variety of ways, to support business requirements.

While some people associate online communities with primarily social endeavors, private online communities can also be very useful for companies and organizations. Increasingly, businesses set aside a portion of their websites for discussions, information and best practices sharing specifically for the use of customers who sign up for membership. For example, news outlets often have a large portion of their content available to the general public, but to see exclusive stories, comments, and other content, a consumer must register their email address and become a member of the private community area of the website. Similarly, exclusive clients on a technology firm’s website may be given access to expert strategies and insight provided by company executives and leaders in the industry—resources that are not available to the general public.


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