Communities Are About The Unsearchable
You can’t search for that feeling of helping someone out and seeing the impact your help had.
You can’t search for that sense of community you feel with your peers; facing and overcoming difficult challenges together.
You can’t search for what other people just like you are working on today.
You can’t search for how it feels when people begin to notice and recognize your contributors.
You can’t search for information if you don’t know how people describe and talk about the problem.
You can’t search for someone who might know someone who has tackled the challenge you’re facing today and might be able to help you.
You can’t search for the great ideas your members might have that might change your business.
You can’t search for what members feel about the products you’re about to release.
You can’t search for whether that vendor you’re about to hire is trustworthy.
You can’t search for those in-jokes that only you and the people in your community will get.
You can’t search for the comparing reliability of two similarly-focused articles.
Google will get stronger, social platforms will rise and fall, machine learning might make some basic tasks obsolete.
But, remember, the best benefits of a community are unsearchable.
The best questions are the questions Google can’t answer. If you’re responsible for any community today, your job is to create and find the amazing hidden value in the unsearchable.