August 30, 2011

The Old School Community (a.k.a. Community 1.0)

Back in the day, before technology existed there was community. The internet has globalized our capability to connect to people, but there is power in the origin of localized communities. Let's talk about the benefits & how to create an authentic community from scratch:

Relationships - Communities grow organically. It starts one conversation at a time and builds from there. The idea of networking birthed from relationships. If we treat building our personal network based on forming relationships, connecting is much easier. Social media, Skype & cell phones are great, but nothing beats a face to face conversation. This generation is losing its ability to communicate effectively in person, because we don't practice enough. Relationships are the core of community. 

Resources - Communities are your referral network. Be willing to ask, "How can I help you?" without expecting anything in return. Everything you need can come from your community. A true community wants to freely give because it cares for the whole, not just the individual. For example, small businesses are the engine to revitalizing our economy, if we choose to invest locally.  

Small Groups - Within a community, conversations happen in a smaller setting. Small groups are the unit for transformation. They are the bridge between the individual and the larger group. Think about how cliques normally form. There's nothing wrong with cliques as long as they are inclusive. Instead of meeting in the same group of 4 to 6, interchange people and start conversations with people you don't know as well. Conversations bond and before you know it, your inner circle widens.

Local is the new global. Provide live events as a means to build community. People are hungry to connect and the best place to do that is within a community. Find a common purpose and create meaningful tasks that bond. Technology will never surpass human connections. Community takes time to grow, but when in full bloom it's a beautiful thing. So what community will you help build?

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