71 Top Online Customer Communities: The Big List

by Vanessa DiMauro - February 16, 2011

Online customer communities are everywhere — you just have to look for them — sometimes in unlikely places. Because they are dedicated to serving customers, often they are not evangelized to the general public or consumer audiences. But they are alive, well and thriving within many enterprises.
By way of definition, when we say “online customer communities,” we mean an interactive, often gated, website that a company sets up for customers to collaborate on topics of mutual interest.
And, we are NOT including customer service websites; e-commerce sites where goods and services are bought and sold; online customer panels that focus on customer research; online publications that let readers comment on articles; or blogs, twitter and general use of social media broadcast tools. These styles of interactive interplay are an important aspect of the evolving web 2.0 world, but are not, by definition, online customer communities.
I’ve tweeted and shared a lot of information about online customer communities. Some recent posts, in case you missed them, are “6 Reasons Firms Build Customer Communities” and “Spot the Winners: Three Patterns for B2B Community Success,” which identifies the common characteristics of successful customer community builders.
We’ve also been doing the research, gathering an extensive list of online customer communities and developing a suite of case studies about some of the more innovative examples. So without further ado, here’s our initial list from the Customer Community Project — seventy-one of our top picks — so far.

  1. Adobe Learning Communities
  2. American Express Business Travel Connexion
  3. American Express American Express Open
  4. Avnet Partner Community (gated community)
  5. Bank Of America Small Business Community
  6. Bloomberg BusinessWeek Business Exchange: Online Community Management
  7. BT Radianz Financial Services Community
  8. BT Transform operational capabilities in defence (gated community)
  9. Building.co.uk Building Network
  10. Caterpillar Caterpiller Community
  11. CHCA CHEX Knowledge Exchange (gated community)
  12. cio.com Executive Council (gated community) (gated community)
  13. Cisco Learning Network
  14. Cognizant Cognizanti eCommunity (gated community)
  15. Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Champions network
  16. Cortera Community
  17. CSC Meaningful User Community
  18. CWFM Connect with FM (Facilities Managers)
  19. Dell Small and Medium Business
  20. Diversified Communications Integrative Practitioner
  21. Dow Jones Dow Jones Communities
  22. EMC ECN Community Network
  23. EMC Customer Council Connect (gated community)
  24. EMC EMC-SAP Ecosystem community
  25. EMC Networker Online Community
  26. EMC TheCircle (gated community)
  27. EMC Velocity Partner Xchang (gated community)
  28. Flexera Software Community
  29. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Business Community
  30. Hewlett Packard Business Support Forums
  31. Hewlett Packard Software Solutions Community online forum
  32. Hewlett Packard Live Network (gated community)
  33. HSBC Business Network
  34. IBM Communities
  35. IBM Center for CIO Leadership
  36. IDC IDC Insights
  37. InfoGroup Exchange Exchange – Powered by Infogroup (gated community)
  38. Institute for Human Resources (Many different HR topics) Community Home Page
  39. Intel Intel Software Network Communities
  40. Intuit Intuit Community (many different Intuit support communities)
  41. Intuit Accountants Community for QuickBooks Practitioners and Accounting Professionals
  42. Intuit Developer Network (gated community)
  43. Jigsaw Jigsaw Community
  44. Kinaxis The Supply Chain Expert Community (gated community)
  45. Kodak Grow Your Biz
  46. LexisNexis LexisNexis Investigators Network (gated community)
  47. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Connected
  48. Mathworks MatLab Central
  49. Microsoft (UK) Microsoft Small Business Community
  50. Microsoft Microsoft Developers Network
  51. Microsoft Microsoft Dynamics Community
  52. Motorola Enterprise Mobility
  53. NAHB Reshaping and Enriching our Communities
  54. NetPromotor Blogs
  55. NetApp New Products for Building a Shared IT Infrastructure
  56. NetApp University
  57. NetApp User Groups
  58. Oracle Community
  59. Oracle Enterprise Manager
  60. Oracle CFO Central
  61. Palladium Group XPC
  62. Pitney Bowes User Forum
  63. SaaS4Channel.nl SaaS4Channel.nl
  64. Salesforce.com SalesForce Discussion Forums
  65. SAP Community Network SDN Community
  66. Sage Group Act! Community
  67. Sermo MDs-only Community
  68. Spiceworks IT Community
  69. Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum
  70. Taleo Customer Executive Council
  71. TCN The Construction Network

This list is just a start, so feel free to post a comment about them. If you run, manage or participate in an online customer community and would like to be included, please take a moment to add your community.
Thank you for reading Building Online Communities for Business by Leader Networks. We are a research and strategy consulting company that helps organizations succeed in social business and B2B online community building.

Visit us on the web at http://www.leadernetworks.com. Connect with us on Twitter http://twitter.com/vdimauro Call us at 617 484 0778

This post is in: Online Community

  • http://readyplr.com/category/plr-content/internet-and-businesses-online Ellen Smith

    Wow, thanks for these..
    great info and would a great help for newbies in
    online marketing and internet business like me:)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03909541740831569744 Vanessa DiMauro

    My pleasure! Glad you found it useful.
    best
    Vanessa

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11189861772261622526 PlanetPTC

    Vanessa, this is quite a collection. I almost want to augment your list with the 40+ online customer communities I frequent for benchmarking, but I’ll just leave one…

    http://communities.ptc.com

    -Dan Marotta
    Community Manager

  • http://sminorgs.net/ Courtney Hunt

    Thanks for sharing this post with the Social Media in Organizations (SMinOrgs) Community, Vanessa. These communities are a great example of what I refer to as “boundary-spanning” communities/networks in Part 2 of the Social Media Primer (http://tiny.cc/SMinOrgsPrimer2 and http://tiny.cc/SMinOrgsPrimer1and2update). I address some of the value of these kinds of networks in a white paper entitled “Trickle-up Socialnomics: Leveraging Social Media in the BtoB Context” (http://tiny.cc/TUSpaper).

    Courtney Hunt
    Founder, SMinOrgs Community

  • http://jobspert.com/Amdocs-placement-papers/ Amdocs Placement Papers

    Thank you for sharing this great list with us.

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