The Town Hall Analogy

When I get talking to people about community and problems I see existing in the world, I often bring up a Town Hall analogy.

TLDR; when a community is created, we often fall into the trap of designing it to be a Town Hall, where there's a lot of talk yet no, slow or little action. The reality is that the Town Hall is often just a piece of the community puzzle. We need involvement and participation from all corners of our businesses.

Imagine the place you live. You love it. You care for it. You often speak to people as they pass you by. Or perhaps you hang out in the local gym, cafe, or bar. You occasionally enjoy attending local events too.

You love your community, give feedback where possible and you contribute in your own way. You keep an eye on the local Facebook group, make donations to a local initiative, and help point people in the right direction.

You help care for (or "moderate") the community by reporting vandalism, inappropriate behaviour or crimes.

This is all "community engagement" in action. It's impossible to track all of this. But it happens because we care about our community and ecosystem.

Then there's a regular Town Hall meeting where responsible or authoritative people (aka your "community managers") create a space to gather and discuss current issues and plans. You know these Town Hall meetings exist, but you never attend for a variety of reasons. Mostly your life is too busy. Perhaps it's work or family that takes priority.

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