I’ve been online since 1992, and in an official business capacity in 1996. I’m just me… someone who loves gadgets, technology and communicating. I have always believed that community exists inside of all of us. Wherever we go, our community goes.
If you’re familiar with a Venn Diagram, you’ll understand what I’m about to tell you. It involves circles that cross over at points. There are many facets to the person who is me. Where I live is one circle. The fact that I love coffee is another circle. You’ll have to imagine where those two intersect. There are many pieces of me. So, wherever I go, I will look for people I can identify with. That’s where community is. It’s within me, and wherever I go… community goes. The same holds true for all of you.
Over the years I’ve seen many business models come and go, where they claim they’re going to create a community. That doesn’t happen. You cannot create a community. It’s organic and creates itself. No matter what tools you use, the community will grow. It’s all about the culture around it. It’s the culture that surrounds companies and products that will endure. That’s what builds the community, not the product or service itself.
The things we care about the most don’t only exist on one site. We are spread out all over the place. We don’t have to only hang in one place to feel that sense of belonging… we take our community with us wherever we go.
Community requires a tool that can’t be built – our spirit. We can throw tools online. But if you believe that a community is a tool… then you, yourself, are a tool. It’s what you DO with the tools that counts. The people who show up are the community. A community isn’t a blog, nor a Wiki. It’s all about the people involved, and their spirit.
WE are the community, not the developers who make the tools that allow us to interact!
When you look at the blogs that have “made it”, WHY did they make it? It’s because the person or team driving the blog had something unique to say, in a way that made people sit up and take notice. People’s voices are not a commodity.
How do YOU define community?
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