Since the dawn of humanity, communication has been an integral part of society. The advent of the internet has enabled like-minded people to come together and form large communities.
Over the years, some internet communities have grown from just blogs to internet landmarks!
These communities are tied together by people who share similar interests, which may include:
- Dating advice
While some communities are very specialized and strictly moderate their content, there are others where literally nothing is forbidden. Now let’s take a look at some of the largest internet communities thriving right now.
- What’s it about? discussion forum, for comedy, lifestyle, business etc.
Reddit is easily one of, if not, the biggest internet community. Its called “the front page of the internet” and rightly so! Reddit has a place for literally everything. You will find people submitting funny memes for PewDiePie to professional certified cloud service providers discussing the most feasible route to cloud migration.
Reddit consists of subreddits, which consist of posts by users. Other users can interact with these by commenting and sharing these posts. Reddit has gotten so huge, that there are moderators for each subreddit. In fact, it’s for more than 130,000 subreddits.
But Reddit doesn’t just stop there. Since its a bulletin format board, you cant upload albums on your posts, just individual pictures. Therefore, there is a whole other derivative community that serves as a gallery for Reddit users. It’s called Imgur.
Getting into details about the theme of these posts is futile, as there are all kinds of countless accounts. To give you a rough idea of how popular it is, Reddit was ranked as the 5th most visited site in the US, and the 13th most visited in the world. It’s safe to say, anything that exists on the internet has been discussed here. Even more so, stuff about the dark web has also been found being touched upon here, as Reddit is very open about its content.
2. Gaia Online
- What’s it about? Gaming, Anime, and the virtual world.
While it has millions of active users, Gai Online started small. It was founded by a few comic book fans in 2003 inside a garage. Now, Gaia has a plethora of community activities, ranging from online games to manga discussion forums, to fan clubs, and much more. The primary audience consists of teenagers looking to create friendships and form a community with like-minded people.
The reason for Gaia’s success is its innovative approach to socializing. It goes far beyond that just being a forum for discussion. In fact, it revolves around creating a virtual world for its users. But most importantly, it is free to join. While it does have a thriving marketplace, the users can become a part of the Gaia community without ever paying a penny!
Teens spend hours every single day on the platform. What keeps them hooked? it’s the Online hangout. The online hangout consists of:
- Chatting and hanging out
- Posting on forums
- Playing online multiplayer games
- Taking part in special events
Another compelling feature is the virtual world Gaia has created for its users. Here, you can create your very own avatar, buy clothes and accessories for it, and outfit it with over 5000 available options. Apart from that, users can create their virtual aquarium, a house, and cars. Consequently, this results in a fulfilling virtual life where you can interact and compete with friends.
Once users have their own house on the map, they can hang out with their online friends. Having a car allows teens to actually race with others, which is just a lot of fun for kids. In addition to that, Gaia organizes IRL community events for dedicated community members to take part it.
- What’s it about? Japanese culture, games, art, etc.
4chan is an image-based bulletin where anyone can share posts and comments. 4chan is a forum much like Reddit, Something Awful, and others. What sets it apart is the fact that you do not need an account for this forum. It allows users to complete anonymity and levies no restriction on the kind of content posted. Sure, it not the dark web, but its also much less regulated than popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
While the primary focus of this forum is Japenese culture, the topics discussed can vary greatly. Some of the forums/boards on 4chan are:
- Anime & Manga
- Otaku Culture
- Business & Finance
These forums seem totally random, and that’s the purpose of 4chan. Users can connect with other community members and talk about whatever they feel like. From talking about mecha robots to discussing fitness and health, users can always find something that interests them.
The most compelling part of this community is anonymity. The anonymity allows users to express themselves without any filters. Consequently, people on the forum engage in half-witted humor, without being judged. This is what makes 4chan quirky, and has given rise to specific culture all users gladly adjust to.
The anonymity, freedom of expression, no restrictions and filters have led to 4chan being to center of every hot topic. In fact, it has created many internet fads, some of them absolutely ridiculous.
- What’s it about? Teen discussions about lifestyle and homework/assignment tips.
If you’re an American you probably haven’t heard of Nexopia, since its base in Canada. Nexopia is one of the largest student boards operating since 2003. It was founded by Timo Edwalds, back when he was 18 years old. Moreover, it is owned by Ideon Media, which also own Urbanmoms and Savvymom Media.
The purpose of Nexopia is to provide a community for children. It’s targeted towards kids 13 years and older. Additionally, it also features a shop full of Nexopia merch.
But as you might imagine, a community that’s 16 years old must be a lot more complex than just any forum. That’s true! Thread on Nexopia looks like a bunch of high school kids Interacting. The difference here is, the thread consists of hundreds of users.
Nexopia forums are an incredibly helpful resource for children. Kids can easily seek guidance and tips on homework and other projects. In addition to that, the discussions on the thread are based on the coming of age experiences and how individuals discover themselves. Understandably, there are a plethora of threads including but not limited to love, heartbreak, LGBTQ+ community, etc. And once you go down the drain you realize there is no filter to these teens going through puberty. And truly no limit to how explicit their discussions become.
With such a huge community, there are certain drawbacks. With over a million users, it’s almost impossible to regulate it. Consequently, kind of like discord, Nexopia has also been a victim to sexual predators and pedophiles. As a result, it is advised that users are extra cautious of who they interact with and what they share online.
- What’s it about? Gaming and trading community
D2jsp was founded by Paul Taulborg back in 2002. D2jsp was originally created for Diablo II, the hottest game of that time. It provided a platform for all Diablo II players to interact. They would discuss the mechanics as well as the gameplay. Moreover, it served as a hub for players to trade items they owned.
That’s not it!
D2jsp has expanded over the years. It is home to threads about many other games, other forms of entertainment, and various other discussions. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this community is its reach. While most other communities we discuss are popular in specific regions of the world, D2jsp is very global. This is evident when you see the number of foreign communities that exist here.
To keep it relevant, and up-to-date, D2jsp admins are constantly adding new features. A while ago, the admins created a new game called Ladder Slasher, for users on D2jsp. Moreover, they also let players stream games on d2jsp to make the community more interactive.
But, it has its drawbacks!
While there are a number of positive impacts of d2jsp, it has its shortcomings too. The owner of d2jsp came up with the idea of creating a currency just to trade Diablo II items online. He then created d2jsp to allow that and later monetized its currency. This currency is called FG. In short, this currency is like bitcoin for Diablo II. Understandably, a lot of players take issue with this approach. In fact, some call d2jsp a vice for the Diablo 2 community.
Many players think d2jsp is unethical, or that its a way to cheat your way through the game. Additionally, it has made it difficult for players to organically make progress as its difficult to compete with others spending real money to gain an advantage.
- What’s it about? Comedy, trivia, games, movies, etc.
This community is nothing like what the name suggests. In fact, the name is satirical, which is a nod to what the community is really about. This community consists of users dedicated to comedy. With its almost constant influx of content, the sites main attraction includes its forum, Photoshop content, as well as jabs on pop culture, politics, and other prevalent topics in the society. This is all pretty standard for an internet community focused on humor.
But guess what?
Something Awful has grown so big, its got discussion tabs on almost everything. From business and politics to the latest games and movie reviews. It has become a community for creative individuals who appreciate a good wit.
In addition to that,
This forum has a 10$ registration fee. This keeps people with ulterior motives, sexual predators, and users who might compromise the purpose of the forum away. Moreover, a team of seriously dedicated moderators works hard to keep the site user-friendly. These admins sift through the content being uploaded and categorize it as best and worst. The “comedy goldmine” tab contains the best content, while the “comedy gas chamber” is the place for the least funny posts.
An interesting theme for Something Awful is how random it is. Seriously, just check the “What’s Hot” section to get a rough idea. Here are the top 5 posts that I found:
- Street Fighter: Contenders (The Street Fighter Monster Manual)
- The Greatest Picture Ever
- Trump and Obama!
- My Entire Life Is Structured Upon Arcade Flyer Text
- Herein Lies the Promise of J. F. Swanton
And man, do these posts get bizarre!
Let me describe one of them. It was titled “My (House’s) Water Broke!”. It started with a person experiencing plumbing issues. Then, it talked about raccoons dating indoors, wine glasses in hand. It ended with the house owner freaking out and running outside, leaving the plumber and puddles of water behind. Even more bizarre is the fact that this post featured a picture: a screencap from the movie “The Shining” where a room gets flooded with blood. Are you wondering whether this was a fictional post or not? Well, I am not sure either.
What’s it about? Rating physical appearance of girls/guys
Buddypic is a site where users upload pictures, and others rate them. The rating system goes from best to worst. It goes from 1 to 10.
To be honest, I don’t know how I feel about this community. Some might see this as superficial and shallow, while others might enjoy indulging in such activities. Well, whatever floats their boat. The community features various activities for its users apart from rating pictures. These include interacting with other members of the community as well as contacting them via other social media. To make the whole process more interesting, Buddy Pic also has a tab that features the top-rated girls as well as top-rated boys.
This has its own forum as well. The forum includes discussions in line with the site’s theme as well as off-topic ones. The BuddyPic topics include general discussions, discussions for girls, boys, and newbies. Moreover, each of these threads has discussions for individuals with varying sexual preferences. They can discuss their problems over the relevant threads or maybe find someone special meant for them.
In addition to that, BuddyPic has put measures in place to keep the site authentic, and well-administered. Each forum has multiple moderators that filter the content that gets posted. When talking about administering the site, it is also important to talk about the authenticity of the content here. Like all other large communities, there are fakes and dupes on BuddyPic too. In order to deal with them, there is a whole other thread dedicated to spotting fakes, duplicates, and other picture related issues.
But there’s a lot more to this community. Like all other communities in our list, this one also has other areas to keep its users interested. The off-topic forums are created so BuddyPic users can discuss other topics with their fellows. These include:
- Relationship advice
- Computing and Gaming
- Music and Concerts
- TV, Movies, Theatre & Literature
- Pets and Other Animals
Quite interestingly, this site is more meaningful than it seems at face value. While the purpose of this site, rating people on appearance, seems to be in vain, its users can’t seem to stop using it.
What’s it about? Gaming and Entertainment
If you have the slightest interest in gaming, chances are you have already heard of IGN. IGN is one of the largest gaming news websites. Moreover, IGN has diversified its content and geared it more towards movies and TV shows as well. But IGN is much more than just an entertainment website. It has a huge fanbase and viewership. Moreover, it stays relevant largely due to its well-connected userbase.
IGN users primarily consist of gamers or gaming enthusiasts. You might know about the never-ending debate of console vs PC gaming. IGN provides a great platform for these people to express their opinions and emotions. I could keep going on about how console gamers act like braggarts whenever exclusives like Halo or God of War release. On the other hand, PC gamers can’t help but boast about their superior experience when games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Death Stranding finally do get released for PCs.
IGN provides more value to its users than just a forum for discussions. In fact, IGN is one of the oldest and most authentic sites for game reviews and ratings. They have got lists of games for every single genre. The latest games are rated, reviewed and discussed thoroughly. But sometimes, even IGN makes a lapse of judgment. Recently, one of the highly anticipated games of 2019, Death Stranding, was reviewed by IGN. Somehow, a bunch of spoilers made their way into the final review, which, obviously, put off the readers.
I guess their editor can forget the year-end bonus.
What’s it about? Sharing your heart out about any and everything
The name itself is sort of paradoxical. Wait, let me explain.
The site Off-Topic suggests the purpose of this site is to discuss all kinds of unrelated stuff. But doesn’t that definition mean whatever discussed here must be on-topic?
Off-topic is pretty much your standard place for all sorts of discussions. Unlike other communities here, Off-Topic is not based around a particular theme. The purpose of this site is to allow people to express themselves. It features various subjects for discussion. They are called prefixes and are categorized into 12 different interests. You can talk about stuff like:
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though! Once you go down the rabbit hole, there is tons of content. In fact, there are 7 different forums just for cars. The content is not unified to a theme, which makes me wonder what attracts its nearly 900,000 users.
The idea behind this site is users speaking their hearts out, and sharing honest opinions. The best thing about this forum is it has stayed true to its purpose over the years. The only way this was possible was by charging a registration for it. While you can still access most of the site for free, you need to pay for registration. This prevents trolls and hates spreaders from ruining a perfectly good community.
What’ it about? Internet marketing tool and resource
This one is a different type of community. It was started by Lynn Terry, a veteran at internet marketing. She got into web development in the ’90s, and eventually created her own network of websites. Her more than a decade-long experience brought her to a point where she felt her knowledge could benefit others. She started SSWT as a way to share her business experiences, do’s and don’ts, and advice for people just starting out.
That was just the beginning!
Over the years, Lynn created a closely-knit community of eager and like-minded individuals who aim to grow their brand. Her weekly newsletter is still going strong after more than a decade. The secret sauce for her community lies within her attitude towards SSWT. She treats her community members in a personal manner, unlike most other money-crazy internet marketers who’re in this business just for themselves.
Furthermore, to make the SSWT community more interactive, she uses different ways to connect with her subscribers:
- Real reply-to email: readers can directly reply to her personal email regarding her latest weekly edition.
- Webinars: These are free, hour-long, weekly webinars for her subscribers. These webinars feature an interactive Q&A session with her subscribers and results in the sharing of experiences and insights about the business.
- Blogging: Lynn Terry blogs on Clicknewz as well. There, she has been sharing loads of case studies and her Internet Marketing research for more than 5 years.
In addition to that, there is also the SSWT forum, which is pretty standard for all such communities. This makes interacting and asking queries even more easy. Community members can get to know each other and discuss similar topics of interest.
What’s it about? Discussion forum about Politics ad Lifestyle.
Fark is yet another community of misfits. It features individuals from all walks of life who indulge in interesting, but often in vain conversations and debates. It was created by Drew Curtis back in 1999. The purpose was to provide a platform for people to comment on news articles from various websites. Drew aimed to be unbiased in his procedures and tried to add both alt-right and alt-left political news.
As the site grew, naturally, Crew could not provide all the sources. The news articles were submitted by users and were shortlisted based on merit. The website has a few primary tabs:
The site has many unique features that make it easy for users to find content that interests them. The primary classification method is the addition of tags. Fark uses different tags to describe the content. Tags such as stupid, interesting, obvious, or dumbass are pretty self-explanatory. Moreover, tags such as photoshop, audioedit or videoedit are usually used for content that has been digitally manipulated. In simple terms, these are image/video edited to create jokes and memes.
In addition to these primary tags, there are loads of other tags too, each corresponding to a specific type of posts. These tags are:
By 2008, the site had become popular among the masses. It got around 50 million views in a month and 4 million monthly visitors. So, Drew decided to monetize it. As a result, the site started offering TotalFark monthly subscriptions at $5 each. With around 200 initial subscribers, TotalFark brought in 120,000$ as year as income. TotalFark allowed users additional access and features such as commenting on all posts, as opposed o other users only being able to comment on the articles approved for the main page.
What’s it about? Laughter and Entertainment
Cracked.com started as an alternative social media platform for discussing and sharing what’s hot!
The American Humour website was started by Jack O-Brian, a former ABC news producer. Soon after its launch, Cracked started gaining a lot of popularity in 2007. The purpose of this “online magazine” was to share humourous content online. nack then, the meme culture wasn’t so prevalently, and so Cracked was the hub of comedy centered content. Understandably, it gained popularity and soon reached a point where hundreds of thousands of people registered and the site reached 3 to 4 million monthly page views.
While cracked.com primarily focuses on image posts as well as published articles where users can comment, it also has an active forum. The forum alone as more than 280,000 users. Furthermore, the forum features threads that offer tutorials on creating content suited just for Cracked.com’s primary site.
Cracked also seamlessly integrated with various devices as well as social media platforms. This is part of the reason it gained popularity. Cracked apps for mobile devices as well as the ability to easily share posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc aided in increasing the popularity of this site.