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[question] WHAT MAKES A COMMUNITY?

October 28, 2010

Cowboy Coworkers

As part of my “check-in” on Monday, I entertained the idea of community. I questioned whether or not online groupings were valid communities.

For you, what are the elements important for the concept of “community” to exist?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 11:54 AM

    Online groupings CAN lead to warm friendships. I have seen a mother who lost her son to Cystic Fibrosis, embraced by her online community when her son passed. People whom she had never met were extending their hands and hearts in support of her situation.
    Yet on the other hand. In real life oftentimes we are afraid to make the connection with other humans. Let’s face it, the world is a scary place and we have been told all our lives, not to talk to strangers. I prefer real life. I am the person that stokes up a conversation with the old lady at the grocery store. Or mows the lawn for the neighbor who has worked a 60 hour work week.
    AND If it wasn’t for online community’s I would not have found you and your wonderful blog.

    • danielbaylis permalink
      October 29, 2010 9:18 AM

      @Elaine – Great examples. I wish you were my neighbor!

      Thanks for the kind words ;-)

  2. Jeffrey Cufaude permalink
    October 28, 2010 7:13 PM

    It’s probably my undergrad English degree, but I think one answer for me is in the word itself: common and unity. Some common value, goal, struggle, etc that unifies us is at the heart of community. It doesn’t mean we have had the exact same experience or define the value precisely the same, but its shared and we know it.

    • danielbaylis permalink
      October 29, 2010 9:23 AM

      @Jeffrey – Interesting. I look around my neighborhood and I see people living as cellular beings, very distinct from each other. We might have similar goals, but we’ve never really crossed the divide into conversation to see what those goals might be.

      I think it takes an inspired person to bring people out of their homes, and into parks and gardens and other community spaces for members to actually engage with one another.

      • Jeffrey C permalink
        October 30, 2010 8:34 PM

        I like your phrase “inspired person” but I wonder if some would feel too much pressure attached to it.

        I moved into a new neighborhood a few months ago and within a week a neighbor stopped by with fresh-basked cookies, a hug, and a few stories about the ‘hood … all of which I found most welcoming and inspiring, but I’m not sure she would have seen herself as an inspired person.

        If you’ve experienced deep community you know it can (over time) become “this is just the way it is around here. In other words, you mean not every neighborhood has people who bring you cookies and a hug when you move in? Huh. How interesting.

        So I think all it takes is someone who knows what is possible to make a contribution toward that possibility … just as you do with your blog posts and your engagement in commenting. Small wins, opening doors, building connections, and then … just maybe … community.

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