Building Online Communities
Subject:   Grounding online communities
Date:   2002-10-24 11:16:28
From:   anonymous2
People say "He's good at working with computers." Actually, he's good at working with people who use computers.

People who learn to use computers well, learn to put and take. Put information up and get it out of your brain and into a place where you know you can find it, then remember to take it back again in time to support the quality of your transactions in the real world.

What works for one person with a computer, also works for a community with a network, as embodied by a server with community oriented applications on it.

Communities need to understand that they are custodians and caretakers of the shared wealth of systemic knowledge. The local recipes for success that have been proven over time.

Internet-based communities should consider what types of systemic wealth they seek to collect and store and what formats would lead to the easy and timely redistribution of that wealth out into the community of users.

Solving this design paradigm from a useability standpoint is the primary issue that leads to high levels of participation.

The current craze in online community building is around economic clusters that can drive average wages in a given area higher, by teaching people to share resources and knowledge via collaborative community sites.

The skill of building online communities is essential to gain competitive advantage, but it is not a silver bullet.

The essence of sharing and collaboration still requires face-to-face opportunities to allow increasing positive energy to take root in real relationships.

People should remember that what is manifesting in our communities is the result of the way we treat one another on a daily basis and that online community is really only a support mechanism for FTF community.

My advice is to plan for some get togethers that are minimal in cost. Take plenty of pictures of people having a good time together and post some of these on the site to encourage grounding of participation and purpose.