Written by: Dean Hua

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If you are looking to build an online or offline community, you can start by deciding who you want to serve. Don’t be a generalist and be everything to everybody. There is a big enough pie out there that you can serve a niche market and still be around a year from now.

Based on my 4 years experience of being involved in community building, I have listed the five ways that you can segment your community. You don’t have to pigeon hole your community into just one of these 5. The more of these criteria that you select for your group, the more niche it becomes. They are as follows;

  1. Profession/Industry Vertical (financial professionals, web professionals,)
  2. Age, (seniors, teenagers, 25-35 year old),
  3. Region (city, state, neighborhood, country),
  4. Religion (atheist, Catholics,)
  5. Topical interests (sports, scrapbooking, knitting, marketing),
  6. Sex or sexual preference (male,female, gays, lesbians)
  7. Culture/Race

I am trying to develop an acronym for these seven criteria but the best that I can come up with is, PARRTS-C. I need to turn one of these criteria that begin with a consonant into a vowel to make it flow better.

I had reviewed some of the newest Meetup Groups in my area and I realized just how esoteric and niche some of these communities are. Many of them will segment their community by using more than one criteria of PARRTS-C.

For example, there is the newest Fairfax County UFO Meetup (#3 and #4 ), Indians in their 20s (#2,#5), the Northern Virginia 20s/30s Boardgame Meetup (#2,#3,#4) or the Divas with Drama group (#5, #6). Incidentally, I thought this last group was redundant because if you call yourself a diva then you most likely have drama in your life. But it turns out that DWD is about women who wish to discuss movies of the Drama genre. Go figure.

If there are other ways to segment a community that I am missing, let me know.


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