The community has witnessed unprecedented interest and expansion in the last year. The realm of community building has erupted in the startup sector as well as well established organisations.
The pandemic has been difficult on many fronts. The neighbourhood has been under continual strain. When everything got virtual, expectations rose. It's as if we leapt (or were pushed and forced) into 'the everything must be virtual' without really understanding about how to deal with it all.
On the one hand, it's fantastic that everyone can attend anything. It has undoubtedly opened numerous doors for me. On the other hand, we're all just a little too thin. When can we log out? When are we available? What does long-term growth entail?
To be honest, it's been exhausting for both the community builder and the community members.
At the same time, it appears like everyone is building communities. There are opportunities to join a community, contribute to something, or attend an event anywhere. I believe we register for events out of obligation but rarely show up. We're going broad rather than deep. However, in order to build a great community, we must dive deep and focus on the relationships that we are forming.
Technology can be excellent for connecting people and promoting connections, but it does not mean that all community activities must be designed to accommodate webinars or live events. The epidemic has demonstrated that we can accomplish things online, but this does not imply that we should.
The world appears to be at a crossroads, so let's put everything on hold.
I believe we are in for an uneasy transition time between offline, online, and hybrid, so perhaps we should go back to fundamentals and realign our aims with our greater north stars. Now that building communities are being taken more seriously, let's think about where we want to go together and how we want to achieve it, and develop something with intention that can have much more influence than if we just carried on as usual.
Wouldn't it be great to start with a blank community canvas, perhaps with a reasonable budget to enable you to develop a community that matters? Allow yourself (and your community team) to do just that.
As part of the post-pandemic transition, hybrids will be emphasised. Over the coming year, I anticipate hearing a lot more people discussing this.
Events are a natural element of community, and I am sure there are going to be more hybrid events happening in the future. More like small meet-ups and large gatherings for both online & offline. Eg. a physical event where a small group of people are attending and the rest of the members attend its online version. Of course, there can be different incentives for online & offline, but these models would emerge and evolve for the growth of communities’ culture.
I'm thrilled to have further talks about this, especially with an emphasis on how all events, whether real or virtual, contribute to the community. As a result, event organizers must regard themselves as community builders, at least in part.
This is a fascinating issue that we feel will play an important role in community growth in the future. Historically, there have not been enough incentives for individuals to participate in their communities.
I've long sought to include incentives into community development. We must help one another because it strengthens us all – a rising tide lifts all boats. We should be compensating those who help us in building community. We should provide them with opportunities and community building should be more like a co-developing activity. Crowdsourcing a topic, creating material together, or simply collaborating to figure something out - these shared experiences are a lovely way to strengthen relationships.
Crypto introduces a plethora of new methods to collaborate. The culture and attitude behind crypto communities are fascinating and obviously something to learn from in the future, and it runs in some ways parallel to what we've seen in the open-source community.
Communities should have their own micro-economies with local digital currencies/tokens in the future. Incentivizing members for their contribution in community growth.
If an economist "studies the production and distribution of resources, products, and services by collecting and analysing data, studying trends, and assessing economic concerns," then community economics will do the same with an emphasis on communities.
This, in my opinion, might be a means to ensure that community members are taken care of, that they are adequately paid for their work, and that contributors can see the value they are generating. An economy does not have to be based just on money. Crypto and love should be investigated further as a means of achieving sustainability.
Can’t really say how its going to shape up as we move in time but it would have a future in community growth for sure.
People are increasingly hesitant to be bound to a single digital site when discussions take place across many platforms. As community builders, we must work through this. This includes accepting the fact that your community members will naturally participate in a wide range of community, content, and social platforms.
The 'old school' method of doing things was to keep objects and conversations in one location – this is just no longer practical, nor is it even considerate to your community members. Accept the concept that your community is everywhere – regrettably for our own sanity, this often implies that people who are developing communities will have to be a little more adaptable.
The difficulty will be determining how to handle it all realistically and sustainably. It is difficult to stay on top of all interactions.
I believe in the concept of community as education. From the standpoint that education does not particularly refer to a certification or a course, or even anything that occurs just for a certain time. It is more about learning in a more organic manner. Or in a way that is adaptable to our specific choices and needs.
Self-paced courses have been around for a long, with variable results. Cohort courses are all the rage right now. I believe there is room for much more, with communal practices at the center of it.
Imagine what may be accomplished when a community is at the center of learning.
In the End
This was the border future of communities, but we believe there are going to be so many new development in this space. We’ll keel an eye out for community.
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