April 15, 2021

Online community terminology

Are you puzzled by strange online community terms or abbreviations? Are you looking for a concise resource that explains these online community terms in plain English?
If so, you are at the right place. PeerBoard's online community glossary helps explain the concepts and terminology behind successful online communities. The terms found in this glossary cover the ins-and-outs of building, manageing, and monetizing an online community forum.
PeerBoard's online community glossary
Casey Botticello
Professional writer
in Blogging Guide

A

Activity Feed

The activity feed is the collection of content posted on the community that is presented to the community member based on the user’s actions, preferences, connections, groups, and topics followed.
Feeds are great for creating and sharing content between the users. It fosters community interaction and content creation to form habits, improve engagement, and inspire peers. Apart from the content, it can feature members, topics, and groups.

Administrators

The administrators (short form: “admin”) manage the technical details required for running the site. As such, they may promote (and demote) members to/from moderators, manage the rules, create sections and sub-sections, as well as perform any database operations (database backup etc.). Administrators often also act as moderators. Administrators may also make forum-wide announcements, or change the appearance (known as the skin) of a forum. There are also many forums where administrators share their knowledge.

Anonymity

A high-anonymity community doesn’t reveal who people are and perhaps prefers that people do not inadvertently reveal who they are. Such a community allows people to post without bad repercussions coming their way. This is good if a person has controversial things to say and needs cover, but bad if a person intends to do nothing more than disrupt the community.
A low-anonymity community requires people to reveal who they really are, perhaps with real names and real e-mail (or even snail mail!) addresses. This has the positive value of keeping folks from flaming, but it may be too intimidating to those worried about such things as identity theft. Moreover, a low-anonymity community necessarily encourages people to stand behind their own words — this may improve overall discourse.

Avatar

Small images that help to personalize posts and quickly distinguish one user from another.
User's avatar

B

Banning

Banning is when a member is denied access to a community. Members should only be banned according to the stated processes of a community. In private communities, this is fairly easy to do. In public communities where members can register with free email addresses, this is not always an effective solution. Some communities just try and ignore posters who have the sole intent of disrupting a community, known as “shunning”.

Bot

A program designed to register and post on forums — usually with the intent of spamming.

Bumping

A thread is contained in a forum and may have an associated date that is taken as the date of the last post (options to order threads by other criteria are generally available). When a member posts in a thread it will jump to the top since it is the latest updated thread. Similarly, other threads will jump in front of it when they receive posts. When a member posts in a thread for no reason but to have it go to the top, it is referred to as a bump or bumping.

C

CAPTCHA

An acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”. Generally, a CAPTCHA is a image you must read and type into a text box to prove you are not a bot.

Coaching

Online coaching is coaching that takes place over the internet versus in-person. It can be done via a video or audio connection, or even through a messaging platform. Some coaches opt to coach individuals through 1:1 sessions; others work with groups.
Coaching online can be held across a series of platforms — like Facebook groups for posts, Zoom for video conference sessions — or take place in centralized micro-communities, which provide a dedicated space for coaching and for members to foster natural connections with each other.

Collaborator

A specific member engagement profile. Refers to the type of community member who collaborates in the community (i.e. creates value — this could be training materials, code/apps, events, product specs, marketing materials, etc) as well as creates content independently.

Community Advocacy

The ability to represent the needs of the community and provide support or recommendation for it in a variety of situations

Community Engagement

Community engagement, in a nutshell, is all about crafting a coherent set of processes to nurture the members and investing in member development. An engaged community drives stronger relationships and member retention which directly impacts loyalty and lifetime value.
While the members of a community share a common passion, each community is unique because of the distinctive experiences, aspirations, goals, and the expected value. This means the community engagement strategy would be tailored based on the community and there is no all-encompassing strategy.

Community Guidelines

Your rules of engagement. A list of encouraged and discouraged behaviors you share with your community members. A place to define which behaviors are expected and express the community’s core values.

Community Manager

This person will be responsible for handling how the community behaves, what each member is doing, what they are posting and more. Overall, you (or your community manager) will be responsible for how information flows within your community and how the members within it interact with each other.

Community Moderators

These individuals keep the community alive by doing a little bit of everything. Their main goal is to keep the forums or questions from going off-topic or becoming toxic. Other that that, they are also responsible for welcoming new members by answering their first posts and comments, encouraging new discussions, verifying the content within the community and much more.

Community Platform

The technology that hosts your community network.

Community Software

The terms community software and community platform are one in the same. They both essentially describe a virtual space where an online community comes together.
At present, most community software comes with a few standard features, including:
  • The ability to create polls and ask questions.
  • A robust activity feed.
  • Direct messaging between members.
  • The ability to create and host live events.
Modern community software platforms offer even more ways to make running a community even easier. Think online courses that help members get that much closer to their goals; private or premium groups where people can focus more deeply on a specific topic; and a native mobile app that lets members check in from wherever they may be.

Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system (known more frequently as a CMS) is the backend software that manages content published on a website or community platform. That includes the resources, articles, and posts you read in your go-to online community, or the fancy bag you’re eyeing in your favorite e-commerce shop.

Content Type

The content created on the community can be categorized by topics and also posted to specific groups or channels to drive focused discussions.
Here are the types of content that can be created by the members:

Questions

This post type is useful when the members are looking to get a definitive answer to a question. Members can add comments, post answers, and upvote. You can also allow members to create polls and ask anonymously.

Discussions

With discussions, members can create content with a rich text editor that gives ample space to give a title and a text editor to provide additional details. This allows the members to carry out ongoing discussions with threaded replies.

Posts

Posts are apt for creating short updates and enabling members to react by liking and commenting. With posts, you can allow members to upload files and videos that would be processed with a native video player.

Articles

Create long-form articles such as blogs and knowledge-base posts with a rich text editor. Allow members to react to the articles by commenting, liking and empowering them to post ongoing threaded comments.

Contributor

An engagement profile. Members of a community who have commented on a blog, discussion thread, document or other item but don’t start discussions. They may also bookmark, rate, share or tag content, update their status or participate in events.

Conversation Threading

Conversation threading is a feature used by many email clients, bulletin boards, newsgroups, and Internet forums in which the software aids the user by visually grouping messages with their replies. These groups are called a conversation, topic thread, or simply a thread. A discussion forum, e-mail client or news client is said to have a “conversation view”, “threaded topics” or a “threaded mode” if messages can be grouped in this manner.

Creator

An engagement profile. Members of a community who have started a discussion, a chat or a blog post or participated in community leadership activities including content moderation, welcoming members or initiating programming

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing refers to the act of soliciting ideas or content from a group of people, typically in an online setting.

Curation

The act of collecting, organizing, and sharing content. This can be done via a blog, social media, or an email newsletter.

Customer Engagement

Customer engagement in B2B is all about customers experiencing a real partnership. When customers feel listened to they tend to share their opinions and experiences with you, and each other, in order to influence the development of your products and services. This both drives revenue and allows you to continuously improve your product.

Customer Success

Customer Success is the business methodology of ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. When you give customers the necessary tools they need to succeed, you increase the likelihood of them always getting maximum value from your product, and they become more likely to stick around. Customer Success is a continuous process. It requires constantly ensuring every user is getting the most from your product. In other words: It’s proactive, rather than reactive (as is the case with Customer Support). Customer Success is about finding ways to inform, update and guide users on changes or different ways of using a product, all the while gathering their feedback and using it to inform product improvements.

E

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a popular digital metric used to describe the amount of interaction — likes, shares, comments — a piece of content receives.

Emoticon/Smiley

A small image that expresses a particular emotion.

ESN

Enterprise Social Network. An online social network for an internal business community. An ESN platform can provide your organization with a place to collaborate, ask questions, track projects and share ideas.

Expectation Management

Nothing sends a new member away faster than being disappointed. Promise only what you can deliver, then over deliver a bit. Don’t set expectations that can’t be met. Be fair and consistent in the application of rules and norms. This is essential to building and maintaining community trust.
Expectation management is key in order to create happy platform users or online community members. This can be a challenge and sometimes even a point of contention between your operations team and your marketing or site moderation teams. Your marketing team wants to make the biggest, boldest promises possible in order to make a sale. But if they make promises that your platform or community can’t live up to, you end up with disappointed customers.

External Community

Community existing outside of an organization, typically a community of practice, a support community, a customer community or a community of interest.

F

Feedback

As your online community grows, you’ll need to constantly pay attention to what your members are saying. If they make recommendations or complains, it’s your job to communicate with them and address their issues. This is necessary to strengthen your community together.
Forum discussions

Flaming

Hostile or insulting interaction between users.

Focus

A high-focus community might be one that deals with the minutiae of a particular rock band and its music. Straying too far from the intended topic — discussing, say, deconstruction of 19th century painters — would be discouraged.
High focus might be due to the original, continuing, needs of the community (perhaps derived from a single founder).
A low-focus community would allow a person to talk about anything. Of course, the problem there is that it takes at least two to have a discussion! The Internet is awash with still-born communities that did not gel due to a lack of focused intent, and hence a lack of participants attracted by a particular interest.

Forum

Also known as a message board. An online site dedicated to discussing a particular topic. Unlike a chat room where the conversation is built upon short, rapid-fire responses, discussions in a forum are published through a thread often longer than a single-line of text. Conversations are typically archived. In some circumstances, moderators approve each post before they become visible.
A discussion forum is hierarchical or tree-like in structure: a forum can contain a number of subforums, each of which may have several topics. Within a forum’s topic, each new discussion started is called a thread and can be replied to by as many people as so wish.

G

Gamification

Gamification is the skill of understanding what game-based motivators may drive members and how to use those motivators to help members get value out of the community that they may not initially recognize. Gamification is a vital element of strong and dynamic customer communities. In order to create and maintain a thriving space, community managers must find ways to incite user engagement. Gamification triggers this engagement by creating moments of user gratification which hook community members to keep coming back for more. Features such as user badges, interactive polls and displaying user ranks and roles are perfect for this.

Guest

An unregistered user of the site is commonly known as a guest or visitor. Guests are typically granted access to all functions that do not require database alterations or breach privacy. A guest can usually view the contents of the forum or use such features as read marking, but occasionally an administrator will disallow visitors to read their forum as an incentive to become a registered member. A person who is a very frequent visitor of the forum, a section or even a thread is referred to as a lurker and the habit is referred to as lurking. Registered members often will refer to themselves as lurking in a particular location, which is to say they have no intention of participating in that section but enjoy reading the contributions to it.

H

Hiding (Posts)

When members post something that is against community guidelines (spam, obscenities) host can either hide or erase posts. Posts with large sound or image files may be hidden to keep from slowing down the systems of users with slower Internet connections. Erasing posts should only be done in extreme circumstances, and for clearly stated purposes, to avoid issues of censorship.

Hybrid Community

A combination of both public and private communities. This kind of online community is public in general but has a private or secret groups (subcommunities) within. Part of the community can be accessed by anyone while there is an exclusive area for specific users.

I

Iceberg Effect

The theory that the visible activity of a community is only a very small part of the overall activity of a community.
There are a huge number of things that happen in the background. While over time, this background activity is done by many in the community it typically falls heavily on the community manager during the development and growth phases and include all of the following tasks:
  • Back-channeling: Encouraging participants privately to post, comment, and participate.
  • Event planning and orchestration: Ensuring that events are successful by getting commitment from the influencers within the community that will bring along everyone else and make for a successful event.
  • Posting event documentation and recaps to extend the value of the event and include more members.
  • Sending community activity and content to members that have a specific interest in the topic to ensure the members with something of value to add see it.
  • Drafting content, discussions, and ideas so that it is easy for members to contribute or share.
  • Creating or re-publishing content into different modalities — text, pictures, audio, & video.
  • Building relationships with key members of the community to maintain an ‘ear to the ground’ of what is really going on.
  • Intercepting or interceding with members who are acting inappropriately.
  • Evangelizing within the sponsoring organization to generate more involvement and/or gain support.
  • Gathering and reporting on activity and results.
  • Helping to translate and negotiate between organizational and community needs.
  • Monitoring discussions and content.
  • Brainstorming on activity, content, and ideas that keep community members interested.
  • Working with colleagues to build programming that is valuable to them and the community members.

Ideal Online Community Persona

Defining who you’re targeting with an ‘ideal online community persona’ helps you to build a niche community which lasers in on exactly what your audience wants which in turn, helps you to stand out online and create a buzzing community that people want to be a part of.
How can you determine your ideal online community persona?
  1. Short survey — Asking people their age, location, what their specific challenges in your niche are, what they love about some of the online communities they are a part of, what could be improved and what they would love more of. You can easily create a survey using Google forms or Survey monkey.
  2. Interview — Once you’ve collated information from a handful of people — pick 2 or 3 ideal kinds of members and do a short phone interview with them. Ask them to tell you more about their goals, motivations around your topic, what they’ve tried to do on their own to master your niche/interest, why they failed and what their fears are.
  3. Persona bank — Once you’ve collated results from a survey and conducted phone interviews, create a ‘persona bank’ which is basically a document that lists down all of the relevant information you’ve collected. This can be everything from what they want to what they dislike, what they’ve tried before as well as the language they use around topics and things they care about most.

Inactive Members

Members who have a profile in the community but who are inactive, which typically means they have not accessed the community in the past month.

Internal Community

A community that exists within an organization, generally comprised of employees, alumni, stakeholders, etc.

Introduction Threads

Introduction threads in the discussion section of the community are great to get the ball rolling. It can be welcoming, give a sense of the peers, other new members, and break the ice. This has been a common practice of many online communities.

K

Knowledgebase

A knowledge base is a published collection of documentation that typically includes answers to frequently asked questions, how-to guides, and troubleshooting instructions. Its purpose is to make it easy for people to find solutions to their problems without having to ask for help.
A knowledge base can encompass many forms of content, including:
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Step-by-step process guides
  • Introductory articles
  • Video demonstrations
  • Glossaries and definition lists

KPI

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) represent data that you can track in order to measure the success of your community. You need to have key performance indicators in place. These are the goals you want your community to achieve. This metric may vary from time to time depending on the stage of the community or the challenge you might be handling.
For instance during the early stage of community where stickiness is more important than growth, you will need to measure the engagement rate of the community rather than the growth rate.Depending on where you are in the phases of community building, these are the main KPIs that are interesting for you:
  • Community members: the number of users signing up to the community
  • Engagement rates: active contributors in the community
  • Traffic: page visitors per month
KPIs data

L

Learning Management System (LMS)

A learning management system (often abbreviated as LMS) is a piece of software used to create online courses. In other words, learning management systems allow teachers, instructors, and creators to build, organize, manage, and deliver coursework via an online course platform.
These platforms usually feature a wide range of capabilities, including live or prerecorded video lessons, a dedicated space for discussion threads, and a place to publish articles, images, and more. In this way, learning management systems make it easy for creators to smoothly deliver highly valuable, super engaging online courses.
Some learning management systems offer even more advanced features and added opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction. Think mastermind groups where students can come together to tackle more advanced lessons, or a dedicated space for private direct messaging.
Learning management systems that prioritize peer-to-peer interaction are often the most effective. People learn most effectively when they’re on a journey to master something interesting together. In that regard, creating a space where course-takers can share their experiences, learn from each other, and navigate challenges together is crucial.

Linear

With a linear system, each post in a given topic arrives in chronological order. The result is more like a real conversation. Often with a linear system you can read more than one post per HTML page, which speeds things up when you’re reading. Linear message boards are sometimes called “Conferencing,”.

Locality

A high-locality community might be one that serves a real town, perhaps even just a neighborhood. The referents and discussion are real to many, if not most, of the participants. You could get an answer to “What do you think of that new burger place on the corner?”
A low-locality community might be spread thinly across the globe. Members are necessarily a bit distant from one another and that burger place had better have a web site if there is to be any discussion about it! On the other hand, low-locality communities are more likely to have conversations on those many topics which, in a “physical community” cannot take place due to a very small number of interested people.

Locked (Thread)

A locked thread is a thread in which you can no longer post.

Lurker

The majority of your community — or at least a big part of it — will be comprised of lurkers. They are the ones who maintain a presence within your community but don’t take an active part in it. They don’t post, like and comment. Rather, they simply observe how the community is going.

M

Member Advocacy

Representing the needs expressed by the community or individual members to other stakeholders to ensure those needs are heard and addressed.

Member Feedback

Members are the best source of ideas to strengthen and grow communities. Seek their opinions and ideas actively and often!
Member feedback

Member Onboarding

A member onboarding process helps community owners to fully leverage the time that a new member has spent in joining your community. The general goal is to deliver an engaging experience from the very beginning to make them come back to participate on a regular basis.
Here are some of the key benefits of onboarding new members:
  • Helps in setting the right expectations for both the new member and the community owner.
  • Keeps the member aware of the community culture and guidelines.
  • Provides new members with the tools and information necessary to get the best out of the community.
  • Helps the members discover peers with a shared passion so that they can form networks and add value to each other
  • Allows the community manager to make the new member realize the value of the community so they return to the community
Some examples of mechanisms for member onboarding, include: welcome videos, guided tours, email sequence, introduction thread, and new member groups.

Membership Churn

Membership churn is how many members leave a membership-based website, community, business, or organization, usually measured by subscription cancellations or lapses. It is the opposite of membership retention, which is the measure of how many members keep their memberships active.
Membership churn is a good way to gauge how valuable members find the network, content, and opportunities a membership-based online service, website, or community is offering.

Membership Model

A membership model is where a website, community, brand, creator, or organization offers access to a set of valuable resources, typically for a fee.
The value of a membership is in the exclusivity of the content, education, services, discounts, and/or networking opportunities with people in the same profession or interested in the same topics that can only be accessed by those who are members.

Membership Retention

Membership retention is the measure of how many of your members keep their membership active. It is a critical component of the membership model, because it describes how you keep your members from canceling their subscriptions, and how you ensure they find sufficient value in the services that you’re offering.

Micro-community

A micro-community is an online community made up of less than 30 members. Oftentimes, they’re part of an online course, an online coaching group, or a larger virtual community.
What a micro-community lacks in numbers, it makes up for in value. There’s a sense of quality over quantity: In a smaller group of active, super motivated members, the people inside tend to engage more deeply for longer periods of time.

Minimum Viable Community (MVC)

An MVC is a version of your online community that you build at the start to test how things are going. This kind of community is built using the least amount of resources possible and its purpose is to help you test out what kind of results you get in your community without wasting too much time and resources.

Moderation System

On Internet websites that invite users to post comments, a moderation system is the method the webmaster chooses to sort contributions that are irrelevant, obscene, illegal, or insulting with regards to useful or informative contributions.
Various types of Internet sites permit user comments, such as: Internet forums, blogs, and news sites powered by scripts such as phpBB, a Wiki, or PHP-Nuke. Depending on the site’s content and intended audience, the webmaster will decide what kinds of user comments are appropriate, then delegate the responsibility of sifting through comments to lesser moderators. Most often, webmasters will attempt to eliminate trolling, spamming, or flaming, although this varies widely from site to site.

Moderator

The moderators (short singular form: “mod”) are users (or employees) of the forum who are granted access to the posts and threads of all members for the purpose of moderating discussion (similar to arbitration) and also keeping the forum clean (neutralizing spam and spambots etc.). Moderators also answer users’ concerns about the forum, general questions, as well as respond to specific complaints. Common privileges of moderators include: deleting, merging, moving, and splitting of posts and threads, locking, renaming, stickying of threads, banning, unbanning, suspending, unsuspending, warning the members, or adding, editing, and removing the polls of threads.
Essentially, it is the duty of the moderator to manage the day-to-day affairs of a forum or board as it applies to the stream of user contributions and interactions. The relative effectiveness of this user management directly impacts the quality of a forum in general, its appeal, and its usefulness as a community of interrelated users.

N

Network Effect

A network effect refers to a situation where the value of a product, platform, or service increases as more people use it. In community building, a network effect refers to the phenomenon where the value of a community increases as more people join.
For instance, if you build an online community, this phenomenon occurs with the addition of every new member. As each new person joins your community, they bring additional value to you, your brand, the community, and its members. Those members then encourage others to join, which adds even more value to the community. This creates a cycle where additional users create additional value, which in turn attracts other users who add even more value. Network effects are usually positive and derive from a potential customer deriving more value from your product or service because of how many other people they see using it.

New Member Welcoming

Building connections and creating content and programming to help members feel comfortable, connected and engaged in their first interactions within the community.

Newcomers

Your community, hopefully, will have a lot of new members coming in. It will be your job to have a strong onboarding process for them so that they feel welcome and in control the moment they start browsing your community.

O

On-Boarding

The process of bringing a new member up to speed in the community space. Community members, new community management employees and high-level executives all require on-boarding to help them maximize community value and functionality. Often happens in conjunction with New Member Welcoming, but is not the same.

One Percent Rule

The 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website add content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk.

P

Passion Economy

The passion economy is an economy built around “creators with a purpose” — people who are powerfully motivated to start a brand, business, or community, usually on digital platforms, around a shared passion. Today, there’s an ongoing demand for three things that the passion economy provides: expertise, experiences, and relationships.
In a way that wasn’t possible even a decade ago, the rise in new digital platforms — including those like Shopify for e-commerce and PeerBoard for online communities — has made it easier for individuals to build a fulfilling livelihood around their own passions. These digital platforms overcome roadblocks of geography and timezones in a more agile way than the traditional economy, and — most importantly — allow people to connect and build the relationships that maintain and fuel the passion economy.

Personal Profiles

Encouraging members to create personal profiles gives everyone in the community a tool to get to know other members. Encouraging members to view others’ profiles, and keeping their own profiles up to date helps build a sense of community. Profiles may vary quite a bit, depending on community purpose. Some communities may promote the use of personas while others strongly depend on people representing their “real” selves. Communities sometimes profile a member a day or a member a week to help people get to know’ each other and to give members their own “spotlight.” Permission from the member is a must and privacy issues should be respected.

PM/Private Message

A means of privately contacting another member.

Post

A post is a user-submitted message enclosed into a block containing the user’s details and the date and time it was submitted. Members are usually allowed to edit or delete their own posts. Posts are contained in threads, where they appear as blocks one after another. The first post starts the thread; this may be called the TS (thread starter) or OP (original post). Posts that follow in the thread are meant to continue discussion about that post, or respond to other replies; it is not uncommon for discussions to be derailed.
Forum post

Postcount

A measurement of how many posts a certain user has made. Users with higher postcounts are often considered more reputable than users with lower postcounts, but not always. For instance, some forums have disabled postcounts with the hopes that doing so will emphasize the quality of information over quantity.

Private Online Community

This kind of community is open only to those members who have been granted access to it. The content within it can only be read by those people who have login credentials or have gone through a paywall or have been approved by community managers or moderators. In many cases the content of a private community can still be indexed by search engines if required by administrator.

Pruning topics (archiving/read only)

Old topics never die, they just get archived. Inactive topics can be “frozen” so no new posts can be added, and they can also be archived, which means they will no longer show up on the active topic lists. They can be brought back or “unarchived” and “thawed” as well. By keeping inactive topics pruned, conferences can focus on the active topics and kept robust.

Public Online Community

This kind of community is open to everyone. Anyone can read the contents within it without having to go through a login screen or a paywall.

R

Reciprocity

People like to be recognized. They enjoy giving in an environment where they are appreciated and can anticipate others will respond in kind. This pattern of engagement and reciprocity is at the core of all online hosting and facilitation. Engagement and reciprocity help people discover how to interact more meaningfully online.
Discussion forum interactions

S

Secret Online Community

This is a type of community where you can invite people to complete a sign up process and then join the community. These communities are ‘exclusive’ and are purposefully hard to access because it’s made for a specific audience. Also, the content within it will never be indexed by any search engine and there is no public form to apply to for joining secret community.

Shopify Forum

A Shopify forum is an online community, and, as with any online community, there is a central common interest that ties the community together. For a Shopify forum, that common interest is your Shopify store and its products and services.
On a Shopify forum, you might find very different information depending on the type of Shopify store where the forum is located. For example, a SaaS company on Shopify might run a forum that mainly discusses how to use their software. In contrast, an art supply store’s Shopify forum may ask and answer painting-related questions.

Signature

A message that is shown below each individual member containing personalized quotes, words of wisdom, links, etc.

Sticky

Threads that are important but rarely receive posts are stickyed (or, in some software, “pinned”). A sticky thread will always appear in front of normal threads, often in its

Super User

The super users will be responsible for the most engagement within your community. They will create the most posts, get the most likes, receive the most comments. Similarly, they will be ones giving the most likes, commenting on the most posts etc. And since they are naturally good at engaging with your community, they are the perfect candidates for becoming future community moderators.

T

Thread

A thread (sometimes called a topic) is a collection of posts, usually displayed from oldest to latest, although this is typically configurable: Options for newest to oldest and for a threaded view (a tree-like view applying logical reply structure before chronological order) can be available. A thread is defined by a title, an additional description that may summarize the intended discussion, and an opening or original post (common abbreviation OP, which can also be used to refer to the original poster), which opens whatever dialogue or makes whatever announcement the poster wished. A thread can contain any number of posts, including multiple posts from the same members, even if they are one after the other.

Topic

Topics allow users to categorize content and enable seamless knowledge discovery. PeerBoard uses Categories and User Groups.

Troll

A troll or internet troll refers to a person who is known for creating controversy in an online setting. They typically hang out in forums, comment sections, and chat rooms with the intent of disrupting the conversation on a piece of content by providing commentary that aims to evoke a reaction.

U

User-Generated Content (or UGC)

User-generated content is content — blogs, videos, photos, quotes, etc. — that is created by community members. Marketers typically tap into their audience in an online setting to collect this type of content to support a campaign or initiative.

V

Virtual Community

A virtual community is made up of a group of people bonded by a shared interest or motivation. They meet up in a dedicated digital space, where they can form connections with each other, tap into each other’s stories and experiences to fuel progress, and build meaningful relationships.
These communities are led by a creator or host who structures why and how their members build relationships with each other in the quest to master something interesting together.In a virtual community, members get added value from the connections they make with each other. This distinction — the ability for members to foster relationships with each other — is what sets virtual communities apart from audiences on social media channels and subscribers to email newsletters.
Oftentimes, the term “virtual community” is used interchangeably with “online community” (and they’re essentially the same thing).

Virtual Event

A virtual event is any event that brings people together at the same time digitally. A virtual event typically happens live over video on platforms such as Zoom, Facebook Live, or Crowdcast and ranges from a small group conversation to a panel, fireside chat, or direct video livestream lecture, demonstration, or class.
While many virtual events try to match the structure of an in-person conference, networking event, or meeting, increasingly, virtual events are finding their own unique structure — taking advantage of the live text chat for participants; question and answer sections offered by many virtual event platforms; and even bringing participants “on stage” with the leader, moderator, or panelists during the event.
Virtual events are not limited to video. There are also new audio only virtual event platforms — offering many of the same features as live video platforms, but with more location flexibility offered by audio.

W

Webinar

A webinar is an online seminar or presentation that is hosted by an individual or a company. Most often, the host requires attendees to fill out a form before granting them access to stream the audio and slides. In marketing, webinars are held to educate audiences about a particular topic while opening up the floor for a discussion to occur on social media using the webinar’s unique hashtag.
Webinar

White Label Community Software

White label community software refers to a piece of software built by a company that you can rebrand and customize to make it appear as your own.
Using white label community software gives creators the chance to work smarter, not harder. You get to create a dedicated virtual space for a group of people with shared motivations, and help those people build connections with each other. But you also get to skip all of the hard work that comes with building a community platform from scratch.
That makes white label community platforms a good solution if you’re looking to create a community under your own brand, without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and many months of development, trial, and error on creating (and maintaining) a custom-made app.
If you think a white label community app could be a good fit for your online community, the next step is figuring out what platform is the best for you and your followers.

Wiki

A wiki is a collection of webpages that can be modified by anyone who has been given access to it. Some wikis are open to anyone with a web connection — others are tightly controlled by small project teams. Wikis enable groups to collaborate online — contributors can add and edit pages to the wiki and view changes made by other users and roll back to previous versions. Contributors do not need to know how to write web pages as the editing is usually done with a simple editor which allows basic text formatting, inserting images, uploading documents and creating hyperlinks to other websites and resources.

Word Filter

An automatic censor of a word within a post.

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