This article will show how to use a community journalism (also called participatory journalism) platform to build and maintain a community by using the internet as a mean of communication between its members.Why is community building important?We are all part of communities whether we realize it or not. We have our local community, national community. Some are members of clubs or groups. Some are fans of a band or play hockey. Schools, Colleges, universities and workplaces are also communities.Having a closer and more committed communities could benefit us all. Think about big corporations. In such workplaces people hardly know one another while they have so much in common. A tighter community in the workplace will make people feel more attached. Bring better communication and more productive relations between different departments, branches or even people at the same room.Stronger communities also provide reliance when times gets rough or when crisis hits. The stronger the community is, the better the chance it will work together to solve problems and learn from past mistakes.The internet is the ultimate community building toolA good community needs a central place where community members can meet, communicate with each other, display ideas, share experiences and sound their voices.
A community magazine is the perfect mean of communication and has numerous advantages as a community meeting place.Here are some of these advantages:1) Accessible to anyone from anywhere at any timeA community website is accessible from almost anywhere, community journalists and other members can participate at their own free time without constraints of time and place.2) Democratic and empowers the individualAnyone can express their opinion and submit their own content. It’s the glue that keeps the community together. The fact that everyone has a voice is key.3) Free of chargeWebsites like http://www.comagz.com provide some communities with their own community magazine which is free and does not incur operation costs.4) Requires minimal moderation or attentionPlatforms like comagz.com provide the entire community members with the ability to post content and decide which content should be promoted and shown on the front page for example while throwing out inadequate content.
All this is done by a voting system and algorithm which manages the content according to the reader’s votes.What are the ingridients of a good community magazine platform?o An online magazine look and feel with nice layout.o Sections for news, articles, recommended links and personal columnso Flexible Categories for easy browsingo Easy submission of items by all memberso Automatic management of content items according to users voteso Forums for discussions and search for finding old posts.o Exposure of the content to all major search engines and blog aggregatorsConclusionsBuilding or enforcing a community and tightening the relations between its members can be both fun and beneficial. The web is a great enabler for community building. Community members can serve voluntarily as citizen journalists and write for the community blog or magazine. Setting up a community magazine is easy and cost free. So what are you waiting for?Check http://www.comagz.com/webmagazine/ for an example of a CoMagzine.
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