🎉 Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day 🎉
I've had a pull towards creating local communities for a long time. I feel more urgency as each year passes by. I'm not sure if it's because of my age, or the state of the world. I suspect it's a combination of the two.
I was surrounded by 'local community' content during my community research this week, so I made it a theme:
1️⃣ Using AI to explore creating community maps
2️⃣ Upcoming Rosieland Events
3️⃣ The Playground Is My Third Place
4️⃣ The Farm is a Neighbourhood
5️⃣ Why "Local"? Why "Conversation"?
6️⃣ The closest I’ll get to building in public
7️⃣ Walk and Talk
8️⃣ Communities as Complex Systems
First up, thanks to our sponsors:
Using AI to explore creating community maps
(and other creative visuals)
Our local councillor commissioned a graphic designer to create a map of our town to highlight what exists and to encourage people, especially visitors, to shop locally.
It got me thinking about maps. I've wanted to create a map for Rosieland, inspired a bit by Disneyland, mostly just for a bit of fun, but in a more serious way, it could really be a useful way to communicate all the things in Rosieland.
I'm not sure a Rosieland map will get to the top of my priorities for quite a long time, so the next best option is AI! I'm a fan of shipping things quickly. I went to Bing Creator for inspiration.
What I enjoy about this process is that I can make fun images along the way to inspire what could be in a map further down the line. It probably doesn't replace my need to hire a designer to do the final work, if and when the time comes, but it does help me formulate better ideas of how to define the requirements of the map.
From a community perspective, we could also start conversations or be on the look out for specific keywords that could help inspire images. We could even get community members to share their own descriptions into AI image creators.
Upcoming Rosieland Events
🗓️ Keep an eye out on our free events:
The Playground Is My Third Place
As a parent, I spend so much time at playgrounds. It makes so much sense to view these spaces as third spaces.
For the community people in the room, it is also an opportunity to think about "how can we make our playgrounds more community-like?". They are a natural gathering spot with lots of potential for community creativity.
The Farm is a Neighbourhood
There's a wonderful quote in this article: Health happens when the farm is hospitable.
It's a great reminder for our community efforts:
In all these instances, health has developed via a superabundance of life and diversity, and an interplay between past and present—not from further specialization or eradication. Every time a farm seeks to limit the life on its farm, via spraying or monocropping, Rebanks reminds readers, it will suffer. Health happens when the farm is hospitable: when it welcomes fungi, insects, birds, grasses, weeds, flowers, trees, and countless other members of its ecosystem.
Why "Local"? Why "Conversation"?
I've been following what StrongTowns are doing for building local community efforts. It's great to see their efforts growing. There's a lot to learn simply by observing how they are doing it.
The closest I’ll get to building in public
April MacLean shares her progress on building an IRL community. It's so good to see the thinking and doing behind it all.
It's easy to talk about the thinking of how to build community, but seeing how it is done, how even the design and tech decisions are made is always fun to read and learn from!
Walk and Talk
In the early days of the pandemic and audio technology I loved setting up audio rooms to hang out and chat. I use to walk on a treadmill whilst they were happening.
Walk and Talks can also be used as an activity in real life. Nicola Earle shared that she started doing Meno Walks. I'd love to see more people doing this as a meetup activity, of course, weather can be trick to work around for many of us during the winter, but it's probably very feasible for 9 months of the year.
You could level up your Walk and Talks by organising a group of people to go somewhere together for a longer period of time. This is the more intensive and hardcore version that most people don't have the luxury to do. I recently saw Derek Sivers and Craig Mod share their experience of a more comprehensive walk and talk
Communities as Complex Systems
This one isn't strictly about local communities, but if we wear our 'local community' hat, then we can appreciate the complexity of communities and explore what this means for local communities. The boundaries are hard to define. It's hard to pin point specifics of what works, or not.