Mostly, people in a community talk about people in the community.
On the surface it seems they talk about their common interest. The tech community talks about tech, the sports community talks about sports etc..When you get into the cafeterias, bars and meetings – they really gossip about people in the community.
It’s how we develop our self image. Marketing bloggers rank themselves against marketing bloggers. Celebrities rank themselves amongst celebrities, scientists amongst scientists. That ranking can’t happen if we don’t know others are doing. We crave this gossip.
Too often the talking about people element is overlooked. It’s easier to pump a tech community with tech news. That’s a commodity. It’s better to pump them with news about other tech community members. That’s an addictive luxury.