Writing About Communities
Ed called yesterday's post on community symbol systems mindless wiffle.
Writing about communities can be easy. You can tell people you need to have a thick skin, be a good host at a party and that it's hard work. Nothing too complicated there. But this, to us, should be mindless wiffle.
Communities are human-systems, not technology systems. People interact with each other. There is several hundred years of proven, peer-reviewed, research on how and why people interact. We touch upon it too lightly. We need to dive deep.
We need to know the most important concepts. Symbols are amongst the most vital concepts to successful communities. Have you ever felt a part of any group that didn't share symbols that had exclusive meaning to that group? I doubt it. Friendship groups have songs, events, people, places, traditions. Communities have locations, interests, words, signs.
Reinforcing symbols strengthens a community. By knowing this we can strengthen our community. That is a win for everyone.
We can keep skimming lightly across community management with good host platitudes. We need to dive deep. We can pull out and apply the best community management practices. We can make our communities far more successful than we could have imagined. We can create communities that last for decades!
If you want to be a good host, then feel free. If you want to become an expert in forging communities that fundamentally change and improve the lives both of its members and its founders, then keep reading – there's plenty more mindless wiffle to come.