As we go into 2022, let us think of sustainable and healthy ways to build community. Even more so as we come up to two years of the pandemic. On one hand, it's great that we've adapted and have connected even more online. On the other hand, it's tiring. So, so tiring.
In 2022 I'm committing to less notifications. Less apps. And less vanity numbers. Less superficiality.
I've culled most of my communities in Slack and Discord. I never visited them anyways. I've deleted a bunch of mobile apps. I'll keep seeking ways to trim down every aspect of my life.
I'm committing to more ownership of my own content and data. More me time. More reading of books. More thinking time.
I'm going for time offline. To get more lost in my head. To go walk and running more. To be more present with my family.
I'm going for micro-communities, to build deeper relationships. To make real friends. Where over 2022 we will can aim to have multiple conversations.
I aim to invite multiple 'online friends' to come stay at my house. I want our relationships to feel more real.
I'm still committed to creating, perhaps even more so than before.
What does this mean for community building?
I live with authenticity. My heart is in the work I do. If my heart isn't in it, I cannot do it.
I'd sure have more money, followers and subscribers if I wasn't so stubborn with some of my values.
Community building, to me, is often about doing what is right.
I feel the world is in hyped up mode. Communities are being built on FOMO. On mystery. On flurry of engagement.
Our Slacks and Discords are measured by the number of members or the amount of activity. Not from the outcomes.
Projects are launched for the attention, not necessarily for the long term commitment to creating value.
We forget as quickly as we discover new communities.
We've joined more communities, but somehow we feel even more lonely than before.
Focus on creating value
Instead of thinking about how to steal attention, think about how you can create value.
Instead of thinking about creating FOMO, think about who you can nurture the JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out).
Instead of valuing your community on the number of members, value it on the number of active participants, or the relationships that are being built.
If numbers are important and still a big part of the community, ensure they are getting value and their time isn't being wasted.
Discord and Slacks can be great for quick fire chat and getting quick answers , but for long term content, forums still win hands down.
Low value content (generally) won't serve anyone. Don't encourage it. Don't promote it. And please don't measure it as success.
Create a culture of curation and not wasting anyone's time — ask yourself how is what you are doing going to help your community for the long term?
We must guard and protect the potential of communities.
We must learn to tap into what our heart speaks of. To be our true selves.
To be anti-mimetic is to be free from the unintentional following of desires without knowing where they came from; it’s freedom from the herd mentality; freedom from the ‘default’ mode that causes us to pursue things without examining why.