I’ve been mulling a post that my friend Arnold wrote all day so I’m just posting some thoughts here. He posted a piece Community - the soul of the machine talking about where and how community forms:
Community as an entity is becoming on one hand more critical for commerce, on the other, more deterministic, and more tangibly coupled to the networks they spring from.
And while the networks that wire our world become fewer, more powerful and data smart, community where human touch and collective engagement gather, becomes more critical as an after effect.
Community, like brand, is a slippery concept but can be the most powerful force when it aligns in the right way. But how do you shape and sculpt it?
I think Arnold is mostly optimistic for the possibilities of new forms of communities enabled by machine learning, new technologies and the massive scale of the modern platforms. And that’s true - but it also strikes me that the simple combination of owning your own URL, disqus and tinyletter are all it takes to build a community.
There’s a notion I think that blogging is hard because writing is hard. That’s probably true - but there’s also a notion that blogging is hard because no one is listening! Writing into the void is tough - mostly because motivation and feedback loops are missing. But that’s because most people think of blogging as writing at people - when really the key to networked writing is writing for and with people.
Every blog takes a village - around every successful blog there’s an orbit of readers, commenters, sharers and fellow writers. All of the folks that are linked to and link in are part of the village.
I’m not sure where all of this goes - but it helps to remind myself that every blog takes a village. Be nice. Link out. Comment and share others’ work.