This week in community building — Issue 58

Oct 26, 2020 3 min read

☁️ Hey everyone!

📅 A general reminder that you can book to attend meetups here.

🌈 Also, in case you aren’t aware, I log all these newsletter links into the Notion, plus other older stuff that I stumbleupon. My goal is to have the most comprehensive community resource, ever! (It may already be there in terms of ‘most comprehensive’, but there is still a lot that I want to add to it.)

Moving Across Lands: Online Platform Migration in Fandom Communities

University of Colorado

When online platforms rise and fall, sometimes communities fade away, and sometimes they pack their bags and relocate to a new home. To explore the causes and effects of online community migration, we examine transformative fandom, a longstanding, technology-agnostic community surrounding the creation, sharing, and discussion of creative works based on existing media.

The Opportunity for Internet Communities

Ian Vanagas

TikTok showed a different way to create a community. When you focus on video and mobile-first, community looks different. Instead of you choosing your community, TikTok puts you into a community based on what you interact with. I expect to see more of this moving forward.

Building, not branding

By Chris Dixon

Instead of creating individual brands, we can aim to build collectivities in struggle.

This is not simply a personal failing or a toxic form of ambition. The current organization and administration of power in our society fosters an individualistic, acquisitive, self-promotional orientation. Culturally, we can see this in the pervasive “cult of entrepreneurship,” proliferating forms of media-propelled celebrity status, and Hollywood representations of social movements. As Maccani explains, “this internalized dimension of capitalism has us ever fighting to ‘get ahead’ in school, at work, and even in the movement, and forgetting the ways in which such structural privileges and oppressions as class, race, gender, citizenship, sexuality, and social currency, are warping the form and face of our organizing.” This is a dead end.

Thankfully, there is an alternative. Instead of creating individual brands, we can aim to build collectivities in struggle. This, writes Spade in his new book Mutual Aid, “means cultivating a desire to be beautifully, exquisitely ordinary just like everyone else. It means practicing to be nobody special. Rather than a fantasy of being rich and famous, which capitalism tells us is the goal of our lives, we cultivate a fantasy of everyone having what they need and being able to creatively express the beauty of their lives.”

PolicyKit: Building Governance in Online Communities

Just another random research paper I came across. 🤷🏽‍♀️ 🧠

The software behind online community platforms encodes a governance model that represents a strikingly narrow set of governance possibilities focused on moderators and administrators. When online communities desire other forms of government, such as ones that take many members’ opinions into account or that distribute power in non-trivial ways, communities must resort to laborious manual effort. In this paper, we present PolicyKit, a software infrastructure that empowers online community members to concisely author a wide range of governance procedures and automatically carry out those procedures on their home platforms

14 things I learned from writing a book

This book by Ana Andjelic looks super interesting, I’ve pre-ordered mine. Not sure when I’ll get to read it, but at least I’ll feel clever by having it near me. I love some of the lessons she has listed too. ❤️

More this week...

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