Not many of us would volunteer to sit in a call center for a major tech company and answer calls from disgruntled customers for free.
But many thousands of people are doing this in online communities every single day.
This is because of the feeling a community creates.
In a community, you’re not working for free, you’re helping friends and people in your tribe solve problems.
In a community, you get to experience personal satisfaction at helping people overcome their problems.
In a community, you get to appear smart to people you want to impress and develop an identity as someone important.
In a community, your help might lead to job opportunities or connections that can open up new opportunities.
In a community, you feel you have a purpose and you’re contributing to the greater good. You have a mission.
This is what makes a community different from any other support activity. The community creates lasting relationships that enable all these things to happen. A community lets people earn rewards they value more than money.
If you want more people helping each other, the key isn’t to resort to tangible rewards but to do a far better job amplifying the feelings of the emotions above.