The danger of "community-washing"
By Casper ter Kuile
My team at Sacred Design Lab and I call this 'community-washing'. The language is inspired by the term 'greenwashing' - wherein companies claim environmental brownie points without changing anything significant in their operations. Think of oil and gas companies releasing ads featuring windmills and solar panels despite massively investing in fossil fuels, for example.
The danger with community-washing is two-fold.
- First, that we are promised community (a rich, complex experience) but what we get is a second-rate, emoji-enabled soulless product or service that never gets anywhere deep.
- And second - more dangerously - that the poverty of community experience that we experience through these products and services diminishes what we think is possible for community itself.
Come for the Network, Pay for the Tool
A long but super interesting read by Toby Shorin
The uneasy Web 2.0 truce between social networks, legacy media, and brands is falling apart. Once it was held together by ad tech. But advertising spends keep going up, brand content is at peak saturation, and audiences are slowly but surely evacuating the big social media companies. Can the three forces — social media, content, and commerce — find a new way relate to each other?
Here enters the question of community.
As high quality content and effective brand strategy move down the long tail, “community” has become an important concept for every post-Web 2.0 player. Crypto token holders, influencer fanbases, DTC brand customers, creator audiences, and new social networks are all often referred to as communities, and each has a stake in developing community for itself.
The Inuit don't shout at their children – so why do we?
But if communities such as the Inuit are able to foster a culture where anger is devalued and minimised – starting with their approach to parenting – is this kind of emotional expression an inevitability? Or should we be thinking more about whether the way we raise children and teenagers is a factor in western societies’ readiness to turn to anger in the first place?
Why You Need a Community: Opportunity Exposure and the Internet Echo Chamber
The middleground can be thought of as a combination of people, places, and events that provide a way of getting the underground communities to interact with each other. It can be a place where people gather, like a bar or a cafe. Influential people, like investors, are good at bringing different communities together. At events, you never know who you could run into. This is where real life communities have an advantage.
And there is much more…
- Run your own social — How to run a small social network site for your friends
- How to design better communities - GamesBizIndustry
- Reddit Finally Bans Hate Speech, Removes 2,000 Racist and Violent Forums Including The_Donald - Variety
- A Guide to Online Friendships - Calder Hansen
- PAPER | Understanding Community-Led Approaches to Community Change - Lisa Attygalle, Tamarack Institute
- Starting an online community - Weekend Club Conversation with Charlie Ward 📺
- The Most Accessible Deserted Island Conference Ever - Community Signal 🎧
- Knitters banding together for climate 🧶The Tempestry Project - GetTogether 🎧
- Learn the Art and Science of Growing a Community - David Spinks / Meetup.com 📺
- 58 Zoom Tips for Remote Working - fyi.com
- In Defense of Vanity Metrics - Chaoss podcast 🎧
- EP61: What Tech Community Leaders Can Do to Build Diversity and Inclusion w/ Mozilla Corporation - The C2C Podcast 🎧
- Hosting a kickass virtual launch party… the Phlywheel way! - Ammo Somal