Why everyone in social and digital is talking about online community.

Why everyone is taking about online community.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Everyone in social media and the digital ecosystem seems to need or want an online community. Or do they? Do we? Do you?

What is online community? There are many answers out there. Here’s several links if you want to start thinking about it: Wikipedia, O’ReillyJoão Alves,  OsakaBentures, and Nancy White.

If the ambition is for attention and permission to future attention, however, is community necessary?

Madness, Our House

Online community, I suspect, is too often a pretense for an online space to which visitors, friends, leads, and customers return frequently -a space where the property manager/owner can deliver messages and/or offers without distraction. In other words, social commerce.

Why do people return often to an online space?

1. Because it is known to them directly or by reputation?

2. For obvious value – as their eye determines?

3. For answers to urgent needs, concerns, or questions?

4. Easy access and lowest possible cost (or free)?

5. Easily consumed value (to be used immediately)?

6. Because value is confirmed by others and reputation?

7. For end to end variety and convenience?

8. Because value is served in an exciting manner?

All of which smells like an online community for all the right and wrong reasons. Nonetheless, our present interest – if we can be honest with ourselves – seeks to understand what is valuable.

What is valuable?

Is information valuable?

Alone, information does not seem inherently valuable. The number of stars in the night sky, for example, does not help you or I to live well (or pursue happiness). Of course, information can be exciting. To know the number of the stars is provocatively suggestive of a knowledge that can speak to our hopes and our fears; the information – in other words – captures our imagination. But the suggestions, however titillating – do not drive results.

Information can only be dressed up as valuable.

Judgment, conclusion, collaboration, and reputation, on the other hand, are valuable insofar as they correlate accurately to results – as opposed to titillations.

The iPhone is cool.

iPhone apps help me do stuff that I have never done on a phone.

What apps are you using to get the most out of your iPhone?

Carolyn is our go-to for everything app , Apple and android!

Value that captures attention and permission to future attention, it seems, must be described quantitatively and qualitatively. A single, strong value proposition is as likely to fail as a constant stream of value propositions which do not strongly correlate to user satisfaction, usability, and benefit.

This is the kind of valuable conversation that we need to be contributing to – in digital, social media and the blogosphere. Obviously, such conversations require your and my willingness to ask ourselves honest and interesting questions.

Stan Faryna
06 May 2012
Bucharest, Romania

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One Response to Why everyone in social and digital is talking about online community.

  1. billdorman says:

    Carolyn is the ‘go to’ person for anything tech……..

    I’m drawn to people and personalities; I guess in its simplest terms, that is why I keep coming back. People fascinate me because we can be so different and so alike at the same time. People help me grow and learn and I like that.

    I guess that’s why I’m still ‘all in’ even without a specific game plan.

Speak from your heart!

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