Archive for the ‘Communities’ Category

I just published a LinkedIn article called “If you attend only one conference for online community professionals…” It’s about the various conferences I’ve attended through the years as an online community pro, and why I hone in on one in particular as the main conference I attend if I only get to attend one a year. Add your comments to the LinkedIn article if you wish. I’d love to hear the opinions of my fellow online community colleagues.

The Indispensable CommunityI just published a review of Rich Millington’s latest book, The Indispensable Community, on LinkedIn. Go check it out and share your thoughts. I highly recommend the book to all online community professionals.

Bricks and Community

Posted: August 28, 2017 in Communities
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We have a lot of exposed brick inside our home. It’s one of the things that attracted us to the place originally. I’ve been looking closely at all the brick and pondering it in recent days. No two bricks are the same. Many look very different. Some have weathered 117 years of use better than others. But working together, they are beautiful. They endure. They accomplish exactly what they were created to do. Remove even one brick and it would be noticeable. Remove very many and the effectiveness of accomplishing the larger purpose is jeopardized.

When I consider the disturbing division among people in our country, how I wish we valued each other, appreciated the differences, and focused on what unites us instead of what divides us. A nation (or business or church or city or family or…) divided against itself cannot stand.

Together, the bricks are beautiful. They are strong. They endure. They unite for a common cause.

And they don’t have to be alike to do so.

I just published an article on LinkedIn reflecting on some lessons learned over the past 16 days of being in a new (to us) house, and how the experience compares to joining a new online community. I invite you to read it here.


communityIn a recent search on Google for “community definition,” the following appeared at the top of the results:

  • “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common;
  • a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”

How do you define “community”? What kinds of communities are you a part of? What separates a community from other groups you may belong to that you would not consider a community?

We speak of geographical areas as communities, yet I know only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of people in my city. Is that a community?

What about groups of people with whom you work, play, worship, volunteer, or go to school? What about the neighbors who live closest to you – do they make up a community?

My title at work is “community manager” for our enterprise social network of 29,000 employees and growing. Is that one large community or does it consist of many smaller groups that qualify for the designation? There are, after all, about 1200 special interest groups among that 29,000 members.

In reading the 10th anniversary edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto this week, I loved the simple definition of community I found there: “a group of people who care about each other more than they have to” (p. 133).


I am fortunate to be part of several groups I am proud to call communities according to that definition – my team at work, many segments of the online community I manage at work, my church, and others. We all care more about each other than we have to.

Whether you have ever thought about the definition for a community or not, I suspect you know one when you experience it.

What communities do you belong to? How do you know you’re in a community?