Participation in online forums and social communities where like-minded netizens meet has become part of the Internet culture as it has proven to be beneficial. Actually, most developers of programs and applications get their ideas from online communities because they serve as integral part of the Internet’s information systems.
Cooking or foodie communities for one, serve as rich resources when looking for information about consumer preferences, needs, cooking tips, techniques and other issues related to food preparations and cooking innovations.
Part of a food product development process involves getting insights from posts, forum discussions and exchanges of opinions. That way they can proceed with confidence in launching projects that aim to improve the quality of a company’s food products, or to enhance the reputation of their brands. In a sense, foodie communities allow for collaborative ways of working with consumers and different food cultures.
Most anthropologists believe that through the study of food culture of people, insights about a country’s economic and political values can be derived. An understanding of what, how and when humans produce food give indications about the value of food in the different levels of a community.
Similarly, an understanding of how like-minded people consume, prepare, innovate and discover ways of improving meals indicate the type of food culture pervading in a foodie or cooking community. This in turn reflects the political, economic and/or social values supported by the food group, regardless of demography or ethnicity.
That is why online communities in general can serve as linchpins for entrepreneurs and business organizations, since they provide a link to the social, economic and political outlooks of large groups of food consumers.
Origins of Online Communities
There was a time when manufacturers and innovators produced goods based on what they believed as what consumers needed or would be interested to own or have. Through TV and print advertisements, marketers tried to convince the buying public about the importance of their new products and of how their innovations cam improve quality of life.
However, such products eventually failed because consumers came to realize that the benefits promised were mostly marketing hype. It was only upon the advent of the World Wide Web and Internet that producers, distributors and retailers realized the potential benefits of knowing what most consumers want before developing a product.
In its early days, eBay was just an online marketplace where sellers and buyers meet. However, eBay became successful because eBay platform creator, Pierre Omidyar, made it necessary to impose rules for governing and policing the activities of sellers and buyers.
Another successful early adopters of forum sites are the game developers, as the forum sites provided genuine feedback from players who liked, disliked or hoped to see as improvement in a specific game.
In time, gaming communities centric to particular video game titles emerged. They proved to be important lifeline in maintaining the sustainability of a video game. Still, participating in a community of gamers presented risks, since some members were being bullied or bashed.
It became apparent that for an online gaming community to be useful, productive and reputable, there must also be regulation and oversight in place. Otherwise, game feedback would be limited as they will come only from those who tend to dominate discussions.
The adult game genre for one continues to thrive since gaming communities like the f95zone provide adult game players a suitable online forum. After all, adult games require mature levels of understanding that will enable players to maintain a balanced perspective of sensitive contents. The f95zone Gaming Community provides a safe space for those who want to share ideas about adult-oriented games, and for those looking to discover new Adult Only games, without fear of being judged or bullied for their gaming preferences.