Once you have a good design for your website it is time to get people interacting with the site and building up a community, this could be regular customers or participants on a forum.
Functionality & Interactivity
You want to ensure that you’re creating an engaging site; and this can be achieved through interactions, games and more.
These are great as long as they don’t interfere with navigation and usability, and are appropriate to your audience.
Try to cater for as many devices as possible using web based technologies first. Flash is great for interaction, but bad for accessibility and for Apple devices.
Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are terms that you may have heard of. They aren’t a specific form of technology as some would have you believe, but a way of describing what type of website you have. Web 2.0 is a term associated with sharing content/information, particularly user generated content, and creating discussion in a virtual community. Examples of this include social networking and blogs. If you use a blog platform and users comment on your posts, then you’re using Web 2.0!
Community, Discussion & Forums
Forums can be a great way of building communities and getting regular visits back to a website. You need participation to get the community or forum going initially which can be the difficult part, but there are ways of getting these up and running.
The issue with forums is that you have a huge amount of user generated content that needs to be moderated. This requires a lot of work to moderate and keep up momentum.
Sponsoring a forum can be a good way to get a forum online without needing the same level of moderation.