community of interest, or interest-based community, is a community of people who share a common Camaraderie, interest or passion. These people exchange ideas and thoughts about the given passion, but may know (or care) little about each other outside this area.
Participation in a community of interest can be compelling, entertaining and create a community where people return frequently and remain for extended periods. Frequently, they cannot be easily defined by a particular geographical area.
In other words, “a community of interest is a gathering of people assembled around a topic of common interest. Its members take part in the community to exchange information, to obtain answers to personal questions or problems, to improve their understanding of a subject, to share common passions or to play.” In contrast to a spatial community, “a ‘community of interest’ is defined not by space, but by some common bond or entity.
“On-line communities” connect to communities of interest in that often times, they develop out of interests in a particular topic. A benefit of online communities over place-based communities is that of non-physical access to group involvement.