Building Communities Inside And Outside Existing Ecosystems

November 26, 2014Comments Off on Building Communities Inside And Outside Existing Ecosystems

As per the previous post, there is a big difference between building a community where there is a large, existing, ecosystem and one when there isn't. 

In a large existing ecosystem, you usually need to work with the key actors in the network to gain their support. Your power and vision is tempered by the demands of these actors.

It might mean changing your vision to co-opt new influencers are they rise in importance. 

This can seem frustrating (isn't working with people always?)

Wouldn't it be better if there wasn't a strong ecosystem? Sometimes, perhaps. 

You can build from scratch and be that key influencer. You don't have to bow to the needs of key influencers.

The problem here is the trend towards being authoritarian and rigid in your view. The temptation is to shut down newcomers and new ideas instead of including and promoting them. 

You might, for example, have a clever and unique idea for a community that explodes to life. You might even be able to pick and avoid the right trends to keep your community relevant. Sooner or later, however, your luck is likely to run out.

You might miss one big trend. This leaves the door wide open for new, rival, communities to emerge (as we've seen countless examples of before). Within a year, possibly months, your community is outdated.

If there is an existing ecosystem, work to build an inclusive, representative, community with shared power.

If there isn't an existing ecosystem, you can build one. But then help those rising in the ecosystem to have real role in the running of the group. 

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