[highlighted]This is the second post in a series about online community, and about the problems we face as a generation whose relationships and communities have shifted more and more to an online setting. [/highlighted]
I’ve been asking these questions about community for a while now. It began a few months back after we launched PFC, and has only become harder to ignore since then.
As last week’s post showed, I’m not the only one who’s interested in finding answers to these questions.
And that’s a very good thing, because most days I’m not even sure where to begin.
Community In An Online Setting
My friend Ross is a great source of insight when it comes to online community.
Ross is a writer, an editor, and (most importantly) a husband to his fire-fighting-slash-master-cupcake-decorating wife.
Though he and I only first met a few months back, I can say with confidence that he’s a stand-up guy, and one who takes the current problems with online community seriously.
Back in June, while hanging out with our friend Andy, we had a pretty intense discussion which you can watch in this video (sorry for the spotty audio):
The RCGale Community
Ross has an informal online community of his own, and has been asking many of the same questions there that we’ve been asking here at PFC.
Last month, he wrote about How Informal Creative Communities Thrive.
In the post, he identified what he believes to be the biggest challenges facing such communities, and the ways we can work to address such challenges:
Here are the challenges:
1. It’s mostly virtual and hardly face to face.
2. Many people with many different needs, wants, hopes.
3. It’s too easy to avoid being known in a digital community.
This is how we can address these challenges:
1. Meet with people face to face who we connect with online.
2. Keep my interests and goals clear and focused so others with the same interests can connect.
3. Create space where people can tell their stories.
The post continued with Ross stating how he hoped the RCGale community could become a place for people to tell their stories (#3).
It’s a bold and admirable goal, if you ask me, and one he’s already well on his way to accomplishing. Speaking of which, if you haven’t yet heard about the Creativity Series that’s been running all summer, follow it here or on Facebook.
*Photo Credit: JD Hancock (Creative Commons)