“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship”

by Joe on June 15, 2012

Ahhh, Casablanca. Love that movie and not because of all the quotes. I love it because it captures a moment in time – history, politics, movie making and so on. I can also share my love with other fans on Facebook or at “Rick’s Cafe”.  The same can be said for my favorite band Rush. There are countless communities for every conceivable interest. This reality turns out to be a double edged sword.

Communities in 2012 are in some ways the websites of the dot-com era. Social media and social networks allow each of us to express our opinions, lives and artistry. It is so easy to have a corner and start broadcasting. Funny thing happens when so many people are shouting, “look at me!!! Please!!!’.  It is really hard to hear what anyone is saying. So we pick and choose what we pay attention to (at least we think we do not always realizing the “help” we get from our friends at Facebook and Google).  Of course the people who are creating the new communities are wondering (and frustrated) why no one is paying attention to THEM.

Having spoken to numerous people on this subject the answer is simple. “Why did you want a community?”  This is followed by others basic questions such as, “Why would anyone want to be part of this community?”, “What’s in it for them versus me?” or “What is a community anyway?”.   It is so easy to go to Facebook, create a Page, throw up an image, invite some friends and sit back and wait for the hordes to start Liking. However not taking the time to ask and answer fundamental questions leads to greater frustration down the road.

My objective for this blog from here on out is to explore the many facets of building communities.  I will strive to distill ideas into actionable steps for people for whom managing a community is part of their responsibilities at their job or for when they volunteer.  I will dive into industries such as software, engineering, education and education technology. Ultimately the goal is for people to feel comfortable and to enjoy managing a community and perhaps build our own community along the way.


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