What Is Community?

In our previous post, Building Your Community, we began a series on building your community by giving an overview on what an online community really is.

In this post, we offer up our definition of community and preview our next posts on architecting one.

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What is Community?

We think we probably beat this one to death in the post Community, so go ahead and re-read it if you aren’t quite sure what community is.

You’ll recall we defined community as:

A group of people with a shared purpose in a longer-term relationship in which all voices can be heard, and which evolves over time based on where its members want it to go

So that’s what you’re trying to architect.

So You Say You Want a Community?

First ask yourself, “Why?” We assume if you have decided to take the step of creating your own community space that you’ve done your homework. You’ve found your community where it is. You’ve evaluated the quality of the interactions and of the places, and you’ve determined there’s something missing, something you can provide. You’ve honestly decided you need to make a contribution — not to mold or lead, or bend others to your will, but to contribute and provide value.

What Is Community? is the 156th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 394. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

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