If you want to see the conflux of many different search and social elements come together online, just visit a popular discussion forum, wiki, or answer site. There is an interesting dynamic that occurs to help grow these entities in an almost organic way.
The search and social synergies of real-time communities are very simple. When user-generated content is created in the social scenario, it is then crawled by search engines, and this traffic from engines drives more likeminded visitors back to the sites. User-generated content sites accomplish this for you, by simply allowing your audience to converse naturally, or engaging in a third party site for conversation and content contribution.
When search engine traffic comes back to real-time content communities, an interesting thing happens. Some of the people referred by search traffic become posters and content generators themselves. Those real search people become members of social networks, content producers, and content consumers. In effect, those searchers become a part of the community, and generate more content.
Real-time communities are also great examples of the “give and you get” principles. The payoff is increased visibility in both the community, and the search results that pick up this content. “Visibility” can be defined as search visibility, but more importantly, it translates to heightened awareness of you and/or your business as a key contributor or expert in a particular area.This expertise can be local, or worldwide -- it just depends on the theme and area you choose to pursue.
It takes a lot of time and hard work to accomplish building a robust real-time community, or building up a network in a real-time community. Most of all, it takes a lot of patience, as it can take years to develop. A very wise person once said, the first best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago; the second best time is right now. If you haven’t already started building or engaging in real-time user-generated content communities, then now is the best time to start.