Don’t be distracted by any book with a focus on Social Media.
Instead focus on concepts that matter for building communities. Here are 6 of the most important.
- Sense of Community. Chavis and McMillan’s brilliant article about developing a Sense of Community. It can be implemented as a practical framework to creating a community. Easy-reading version.
- Dunbar’s Number. What impact does different size groups have upon each element? Why you should slowly get to 9 members then try to reach 25 as quickly as possible. What’s the arguments against letting your community grow as quickly as possible? See Dunbar’s paper, Christopher Allen’s great work and Lee Bryant.
- Motivation. What motivates people? What’s the different between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? Which should you use? What’s going to provoke members to join, participate and invite friends to your community? Skip Maslow and read Albert Bandura on self-efficacy, David McClelland’s N’ach, N-Pow and N-Affil, and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory.
- Game Systems. How can you keep your community fun? What feedback systems do you have? How can members collect points? How are you igniting primal responses? Read Amy Jo Jim on the application of Game Mechanics.
- Self-Verification. What do members really want from others? What do they think of yourself? How can you predict the reactions of events upon members? Read Self-verification.
- Social Psychology. What is group process? How do communities form and split? How do group members influence each other? What are the key stages of communication? How do you identify major influencers? It’s a huge topic. Read around: Social facilitation, group development and group psychology.
At least half of these links are from Wikipedia, it’s the best entry point on a topic. But dig deeper.