Unraveling the Mysteries Surrounding Community

After watching my What is Community presentation, Seth sent a long and very well thought-out email to me. He voiced his agreement with many of the things I had spoken about, and told me I had inspired him to start delving deeper into life online and to try and unravel what he feels are the mysteries in relation to communities. Seth produces webinars, and has been working hard on building a community of his own. He has heart – and is passionate about what he’s doing. For him, it’s truly about helping people, and not about fame or money. Seth has several questions about how to help his community grow. Instead of writing an email back to him, I decided to post his questions here – for my community to answer. This allows Seth to gain several different perspectives. It will also hopefully help others who may have some of the same concerns and questions to learn for themselves.

Following is part of what Seth wrote to me. What I’m asking of you is to read what he has written, and let him know in a comment here what your answers and perspectives are. By helping him, you are even potentially helping yourself – and who knows how many others. Let’s show Seth what an amazing community we have here!

You talked about building a community and mentioned that the blog is just a tool, and I get that. I have been building a community for some time (it’s a little slower than I would like it to be), and your video on community really made me think. I wonder if you could talk in a little more detail about how you would recommend I go about getting more people into my community. Do I go out on other similar blogs and start posting comments with the hope that my words will generate the interest that will lead people to want to visit my blogs?

I have profiles on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and even MySpace. I realize now that I need to focus my efforts on getting to know people who come into the common areas of my Venn diagram. My Facebook membership is mostly comprised of people who know me directly on a personal level. I am just starting to get some interest via others on Facebook who have emailed me, asking for more information on the webinars. On Twitter, I have at times gone out and just randomly started following people, which I realize will get me nowhere. However, what is a better way to go about finding people who may cross into a community area that I would share?

Do you recommend having different blogs for different interests? Right now, I have a main blog, a QuickBooks blog, and an Excel blog. I also have my own personal blog, as well as another personal one that represents a part of my personal life that I normally keep separate. Lately, though, they all seem to keep crossing paths so to speak, without my having even tried to make them do so.

For SEO reasons, I am inclined to have several of these various blogs pointing back to my “money” site. Is this the best strategy? How do I even begin to generate revenue? Is that through advertising? I am asking that because I am interested in learning more about the web business model. Being in Accounting, there aren’t a whole lot of resources online to use as a model. Most Accountants aren’t using the web to build their business. I’m hoping to be a pioneer of sorts in that regard.

Well, folks, what do you say? How do you suggest Seth go about making his community into what he envisions it to be, and then making it grow into more than he could have imagined? I’m just as interested in hearing all of your thoughts and ideas as Seth is.