You Are Your Communities

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Terms like LMS/LCMS or ROI have different meanings for different industries. Being part of Twitter or LinkedIn, joining the Society of…, having your name on a Departmental Phone List or having Gym memberships says you are part of a group, a congregation, a village, a family, a support system. There are millions of ways we categorize ourselves. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are part of communities. Dare I say that “We are the communities we belong to?“

A comment I`ve heard from more than a couple of Northern Voice (NV08) attendees is the idea that they`d rather be in a community with friends they actually know and communicate with regularly than have hundreds of “friends“ whom they are remotely aligned with in lifestyle, attitude, likes, behaviours, personalities, and whatever community-reflecting mechanism that is out there that moves one to reach out, talk, have a dialogue.

So a couple of questions come to mind with this idea of community:

1. Considering the communities that you belong to (Facebook, for example), would you rather be networked with a small group of friends or have hundreds if not thousands of “friends“? Why or why not?

2. Concurrent to the question above, does the “ego factor” lead to a different response for you? Ala celebrities, having hundreds if not thousands of “friends” will not really dilute the true meaning of “friendship” for you. Would you mind that the term “friends” is used in this manner?

3. Would you considering creating your own community (online or offline) if you find that the groups available to you do not exactly satisfy your need for belonging-ness?

Only you can answer this for yourself but the true meaning of terms like friendships, family, community, dialogue, communication, together-ness, belonging-ness seemingly get muddled by the enticement that is needed to get people to be together and use the service that calls for it in the first place. Or is it just me?

photo by carf

1 comment to You Are Your Communities

  • This is a really good list of questions to consider, Robin. I know that during and after #nv08 I started thinking about this issue as well, as I think it was one of the streams that arose during the sessions.

    I have since removed myself from following people on Twitter who I do not know, who do not return my replies, and who post a lot on topics I am not particularly intersted in. This makes the time I spend following people who I value (including those I have developed virtual, yet real, relationships with.