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Author Topic: Q to DC members especially mouser: How do you organize a community?  (Read 2189 times)

Paul Keith

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I recently wrote a blog article in which a commenter asked me what my thoughts are on creating a a community that encourages more creative exploration.

First off, I apologize if this comes off as blogspamming. The question caught me off guard and I felt even if I had some vague ideological and non-technical ideas, as a whole, they just don't mesh as a good enough answer so I decided to ask here. (and I didn't do it in pm because I think others would also like to know what DC members think of)

As for why it's in a GOE thread, I felt the basics are easy enough to answer. Not often done but easy enough to answer.

Notably for a short period of time I was a part of Mixx and I saw the basics. Listen to your community, be active in forums, participate in community made podcasts. Alot of which made me feel special listening to the Social Blend podcast at the time before I left the site. (Also the reason why I didn't ask there because this is currently the only forum I am semi-active in.)

It's a definite productivity question though.

On some levels, if you build it or people flock to it or you market it to hell that's enough. However there is often a rarity in getting people's personal views on this. At least, I think so.

On some levels, there's no true answer because alot of other qualities like design, leadership, software, user friendliness, etc. comes into play.

However on some levels, you also get the feeling that people answering these questions often attempt to downplay the specifics in favor of coming off like imparting with a generic catch-all advice with examples. It also doesn't help that these things are often asked interview style instead of the unlimited time afforded by a forum model.

Anyway, for those who feel the blog link is too long and unrelated to you, these are the words I said that prompted the question:

"Yet even now, we can't totally have a community that doesn't keep bumping generic threads and replying at cliche problems with cliche answers on a constant basis. It would be nice if we can one day be the community that breaks Sturgeon's Law and makes it "98% of everything is crud" and keeps pushing the envelope from there."
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 03:54:10 AM by Paul Keith »

mouser

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Re: Q to DC members especially mouser: How do you organize a community?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 01:21:19 PM »
i encourage all regular dc members to tell us about the stuff they create on other sites -- that's not spamming.

it seems to me in the course of the post you are asking some very different things and it's hard to know which to answer.

  • is the question: now that we have an active community, how do we organize it to focus on important things and avoid getting distracted by unrelated stuff?
  • or is the question: we have an active community, how do we get a more creative discussion instead of focusing on mundane stuff?
  • or is the question: how do we build from scratch an active community?

the first two things are almost directly in conflict with each other -- which i think is important to realize.


Paul Keith

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Re: Q to DC members especially mouser: How do you organize a community?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 06:18:37 PM »
True but the article and the blog theme isn't addressed to a general internet population that's why I fear some might be offended. (It isn't related to DC, isn't related to software/hardware, is directed at a specific sub-group of people not belonging to DC.)

I'm leaning towards the third point. Starting from scratch is just one of the hardest things even on a techie level. Look how Obama is considered the eschelon of political community building last election through just adapting very basic Social Media models.

After that, I think it's absolutely crucial to know how to maintain it and keep the community from eroding. It just can't be separated because then the community becomes isolationist, elitist or anti-new members.