Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A community building manifesto worth noting

For a few weeks now, I've been intrigued by Richard Millington's FeverBee. While he often has lots of great gems, today he posted a great Online Community Building Manifesto.

In a nutshell, he states:
1) We need to become experts on communities.
2) We need to change how we plan online communities.
3) We need to rethink the role of technology.
I couldn't agree more. Much like much touted POST methodology by Forrester Research, tech should be the last thing on the minds of anyone who works with communities. Focusing on the hows and whys of a community is much more important than the tools that are used. In many ways that is why I find a great deal of my inspiration for community work from nonprofits, community organizers, political campaigns, and games. All of these areas reach out to and mobilize a broad range of people. While I am not as familiar with Jeremy Dean, The Situationist and Of Two Minds, at first glance I see similarities with the wide range of folks I follow like Alinsky, Csikszentmihalyi, and McKnight.

Related, I am currently reading two books that seem to illustrate the points laid out in the manifesto. Community: The Structure of Belonging is one of the more comprehensive books on community I've seen in a long time. And strangely enough, the Counterinsurgency Field Manual also talks about how community building is an effective strategy in well, counterinsurgency.

Thanks, Richard. I look forward to changing this dynamic with you and others in this space.

1 comment:

Richard Millington said...

Thanks for your thoughts. What a great post. Will have to pick up a copy of the community books you mentioned next week.