There are Internet communities out there for new mothers, dog lovers, lacrosse fans, amateur photographers and just about any other niche group you can think of. Web portals are easy to set up and they’re rapidly multiplying around the world.Most users join to communicate with friends. But many of the other possibilities — like evaluating books, adding to blogs or commenting on photos, for example — are rarely taken advantage of, said Internet expert Jens Boecker from the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.
One of the most beloved online features, according to the study, is a virtual birthday calendar. Seventy percent of those questioned said it was, alongside the protection of their private sphere, one of the most important elements — a result which surprised the researcher. These two features ranked ahead of search functions and current content on the home page.
Members turned off by fees and ads: Apparently, many portals also go down the wrong path when it comes to earning money. The smaller ones, often managed out of the founder’s home, tend to charge a fee for membership. Sixty percent of those surveyed said fees were a no-go criterion for them, which leads Boecker to believe that these portals won’t last long.
Photo by softtechvc