All the excitement around community over the past 3 years and I still think we're in it's infancy.
We're still in Community 1.0.
Our communities still aren't great. People still overwhelming don't believe or invest in them properly. And the tooling overall still sucks. (Sorry if this offends anyone).
Our understanding of community is confusing and we struggle to have clarity on how to talk about it concisely. We all have different perceptions of what it is. Leadership loves the idea of it, until times are hard and all of a sudden it becomes non-essential or lacks clear direction.
Right now community teams are literally evaporating. Kapoof! 💥 And if they aren’t obliterated then they’re being culled massively.
This is not the way.
And yes sure, part of this is down to the “economic times”, but you wouldn’t completely remove your sales or marketing team. Yet, it seems ok to do that to community.
It’s not ok. Something is not quite right or balanced out. We have to find a better way.
What's coming in Community 2.0.
Of course I know community has been around since the start of humanity, I talk here from a business and somewhat tech aspect.
Community 1.0 has been a necessity and I hope lessons have been learned. I hold strong hope for Community 2.0, an evolution towards more understanding, better tooling and creating better outcomes for everyone.
We are not there yet, and I’m not sure when it will arrive. There is so much more work to do. And so much more to innovate on.
I'm guessing we'll see a bunch of attempts at community and tool creation fail. We're already seeing signs of that. Community tools everywhere haven't gained enough traction, they are starting to drop like flies. 🪰
I'm naming Community 2.0 for me, for us, for anyone, to give us understanding and clarity that our industry can and will evolve into something better. To do that we need to reimagine. Reinvent. And be re-inspired.
We got this, right?
We will get to Community 2.0 when we see communities truly start to thrive.
When community conversations lead to value in varying directions.
When we are respected for our craft (and in turn once we figure out ways to improve it).
When community builders can perform their work with joy rather than frustration.
When the solution is not that of automating relationships and communication and it becomes one more of good communication, care and curiousity.
When conversations evolve into contributions that matter.
When adding a new thing to our community doesn’t present a need to adopt yet another tool.
When community business models align easily with community tooling.
When communities can grow without so many headaches or the need to think about needing to custom build a community.
When the people have the fruitful stakes and opportunities in outcomes of the community as businesses do.
When people start to see that we need more-in-one community tools to solve real community problems and create new realities…rather than just saying it’s too difficult.
When we can understand that community builders are burning out everywhere and it doesn’t have to be this way.
When businesses start to recognise they need the people perhaps more than the people need them.
And more that I'm probably missing...what else can you think of?
It's easy to complain...
Arguing, complaining and opinions often get us now where. I'm seeking and aspiring to a better and alternative future. I write this as reminder for myself and perhaps as a call-to-action to anyone else.
What we have now is not working. I'm frustrated. What should be simple feels like hard work.
Every time I rant like this people come and ask me what it is that needs to be built. I can't give you the answers. Though I'm happy to support in whatever capacity that I can.
I'm here to write, converse, advise and help lead this space. I'm just one person though. I know there are so many of us that feel the same.
I hope others will join in doing the same. We should be critical and re-question everything for the benefit of our community industry...and humanity.