The Rising Star

May 12, 2015Comments Off on The Rising Star

If you have a growing audience, you're becoming a rising star.

When that happens, you might be tempted to turn that audience into a community.

People join to engage with you and each other. At least that's the theory. 

Too frequently, they come more to engage with just you. You're famous and people are attracted to BIRG (bask in reflected glory). That's dangerous for both you, them, and the community concept. 

You might get sucked into the ego trap. You need the growing applause for validation. You attack new voices in your field instead of nurturing them. You have to be the biggest/most successful. You criticise any views that are different from yours. Instead of using your new platform to build others up, you use it to shut them down. 

But shutting them down doesn't keep them down. They begin to build their own communities and soon you're finding yourself flanked from all angles with communities taking your members – from the very people you could have brought in and supported. 

Worse still, if the community is too much about you, any sign of hypocrisy is devastating to both. That might be disregarding your own advice or being caught in a terrible lie. You can't afford to have a bad day. A bad day can blow up the community (we see this on Twitter often). 

At some point, if the community is about you, you have to step back and make it about the ideas/perspective. You have to find the voices others should listen to and do everything you can to make them bigger than you. You have to make the leap from pop star to producer. 

Far too many communities have fallen here. Far too many stars have been destroyed by the taste of glory. If you can't find someone better than you in you're field, you have an ego problem. 

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