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While everyone is seemingly on Facebook and Twitter, don’t think for a second that there is no room for smaller niche communities that cater to specific areas of interest. New online communities are launching all the time and those that don’t subscribe to the “if you build it they will come” fallacy can be quite successful despite the dominance of the big two.

I learned of two new online communities just this week: MultiUnitLiving.com and TeamRunSmart.com. Both cater to a very distinct audience. MultiUnitLiving.com is a community for owner operators and property managers of multi-family housing. It allows them to connect with their peers and discuss industry issues.

TeamRunSmart.com is a new community created by Freightliner Trucks, aimed at educating professional drivers on how to improve their profitability. Features include educational articles, blogs, operational tips and insight from professional drivers and “coaches” on how to be more successful.  Freightliner’s director of product marketing, TJ Reed says the Team Run Smart community is the “definitive guide to help business-minded drivers succeed,”

I think online communities are a fine choice and sometimes the best solution. Facebook and Twitter can be everything to everyone. Sometimes you need a closed, owned environment that doesn’t change every week, requiring you to adapt.

Doesn’t everyone know this by now? There is probably a 30-45 second window of safety for deleting a post from Facebook without fearing that it has been or will be seen by others. Once you’ve passed that time frame, you may as well keep it up because if you’re anyone of interest, chances are someone got a screenshot.

Just ask KQDS News Director Jason Vincent who posted this gem as a Facebook status update while on vacation:

“Add drunk, homeless, native American man to the list of animals that have wandered into my yard.”

I am not making this up, though I really wish I was. (Go back and read it a second time if you must. I will wait…..)

The result: protestors outside the station, an apology, and coverage on Lost Remote and TV Spy.

There has been some mention of the fact that Vincent was on “personal time” when he posted the update, but I fail to see the relevance. It’s not quite clear to me at all why that kind of comment would be justified whether you’re on personal or professional time.

Someone put way too much stock in Facebook’s privacy settings and not enough in the importance of common sense. Who knows what will happen next? I can’t imagine that the newsroom staff will be very supportive. However, stranger things have happened.

There’s one thing I am sure of in this case though:  This will not be the end.

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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