The internet has allowed the idea of virtual communities to become a reality, and book club is no exception. Now that the literature has made the move to the internet, there is so much more to book club than reading. This shift has given companies a major opportunity to be more savvy than ever, and take advantage of the buzz around digital clubs.
Much like how athletic communities have become a cultural staple in recent years thanks to Nike, digital communities for book lovers are on the rise. The introduction to “social reading” has been a slow one, but industry leaders are hopeful that they can reinvent the reading community
Celebrities such as Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Lauren Conrad have held digital book clubs for years. The company driven clubs are what industry leaders are pushing, and are convinced will change digital communities for the better. Recently, Barnes & Noble launched their own book club, Browsery, which is integrated into the company’s app. Advertised as a social network for readers, B&N wants to connect their customers with a more elevated reading experience. Their program allows user to comment on books, interact with peers, and have conversations with authors. This latest addition to B&N will level the playing field for the company with Goodreads, an online community for book lovers. It’s also been said that this installation will help boost sales and customer loyalty in an Amazon driven market.
Given the way brick and mortar stores are experiencing a shift, it is vital that companies find ways to be apart of consumers’ everyday lives. Creating digital communities allows companies to collect user data and entertain customers with a tool they enjoy. The early days of virtual communities may have taken root with fitness and reading, but there’s no telling what will come next.