On Community

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My talk at http://ignite.oreilly.com/2009/11/ignite-toronto-2.html on community.

My talk at http://ignite.oreilly.com/2009/11/ignite-toronto-2.html on community.

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  • Community is the hot buzzword bingo property
    Social graph coined by Facebook
    What does it mean and what can we learn from it?
    Let’s look at some ways that communities are formed
  • The biggest and most important
    We’re all part of the Planet Earth community
    Progressively smaller bits of geography: North America, Canada, Ontario, Toronto, West Queen West, Drake Hotel
    Geography still defines us even after we leave as expats
    Geography is a “who we are” community
  • The biggest cause of war and bloodsheld
    Don’t mean to pick on the Catholics
    Blind faith = intolerance
    Religion is a “what I believe” community
  • Rips previously defined communities to shreds
    The people across the street who you borrowed sugar from become your worst enemies
    Entire nations eliminated and redefined
    War is a “what I stand for” community
  • Religion and war are often a result of ideological conflicts.
    Ideology defines a community in sharp jagged edges by what it isn’t
    Pits communities against each other in defined conflicts
    Ideology is a “what I’m not” community
  • Not always bad things that pull us together
    Communities come together to express themselves through creativity and art
    Local examples include Toronto Transit Camp
    Tend to be transformative through the power of positive things
    These are “what I can be” communities
  • I’ve defined three types of communities
    Useful for designers of all kinds to consider
    A useful mapping to understand the world around you
  • Imposed communities are forced on you
    These are photos of the Berlin Wall in the earliest phases
    Most interesting of the four is the bottom right corner, which shows a daughter who escaped to the west talking to her mother who remains in the east
  • Imposed communities are often arbitrary
    Germany was divided into four sectors after the war: British, French, American, and Soviet
    Berlin was equally divided although it was deep in the Soviet sector
    The lines were essentially arbitrary, often running down the middle of streets and cutting friends and family in two
  • Imposed communities are often brutal
    This is the Stasi’s so-called ‘submarine prison’ since it was underground and dark.
    20 people to a cell with a bucket for sanitation
    Imposed communities have to resort to these tactics to keep their population
  • Spontaneous communities occur when a group of people are collected in a defined physical space for a period of time
    Airplanes, elevators, etc. are all spontaneous communities
    Membership is ever temporary and ever changing
    Membership in the community is often secondary to your primary goal (e.g.: getting from A to B is more important than being part of the community on the plane)
  • Virgin America is doing some really interesting things in this space
    This video shows their Red inflight entertainment system’s seat-to-seat chat
    Can also chat with everyone watching the same TV channel
    Changing the balance from an accidental population to a more intentional one
  • Spontaneous communities occur in the third places.
    These differ from airplanes and elevators in that the population is often more intentional and based on geography and ideology
    Community as a café culture
  • Chosen communities allow us to express our individuality through membership in a group
    We become members of a community of common interest and shared modalities of expression
    We find places we belong
  • Chosen communities are driven by passion
    We find the things we feel most strongly about and then we find like minded people to share them
    Gary Vaynerchuk would say that these are the things we should do for a living
  • The Internet’s long tail has given even the most niche chosen communities a rich and varied membership
    We’re a Google search away from our compatriots, almost no matter what our interests are
    There’s a certain solace in knowing that ‘your people’ are out there, no matter who they might be
  • Three takeaways.
    We can plot the types of communities on a vector of passion and engagement.
    Imposed communities have very low passion but high engagement as we have no choice but to participate
    Spontaneous communities tend to have low passion and engagement, with the exception of destination venues
    Chosen communities are the best sector to focus products and services on as they are passionate and engaged
    I’ve never encountered a highly passionate community with low engagement, other than possibly swinger clubs
  • Three takeaways.
    We can plot the types of communities on a vector of passion and engagement.
    Imposed communities have very low passion but high engagement as we have no choice but to participate
    Spontaneous communities tend to have low passion and engagement, with the exception of destination venues
    Chosen communities are the best sector to focus products and services on as they are passionate and engaged
    I’ve never encountered a highly passionate community with low engagement, other than possibly swinger clubs
  • Three takeaways.
    We can plot the types of communities on a vector of passion and engagement.
    Imposed communities have very low passion but high engagement as we have no choice but to participate
    Spontaneous communities tend to have low passion and engagement, with the exception of destination venues
    Chosen communities are the best sector to focus products and services on as they are passionate and engaged
    I’ve never encountered a highly passionate community with low engagement, other than possibly swinger clubs
  • Three takeaways.
    We can plot the types of communities on a vector of passion and engagement.
    Imposed communities have very low passion but high engagement as we have no choice but to participate
    Spontaneous communities tend to have low passion and engagement, with the exception of destination venues
    Chosen communities are the best sector to focus products and services on as they are passionate and engaged
    I’ve never encountered a highly passionate community with low engagement, other than possibly swinger clubs
  • Three takeaways.
    We can plot the types of communities on a vector of passion and engagement.
    Imposed communities have very low passion but high engagement as we have no choice but to participate
    Spontaneous communities tend to have low passion and engagement, with the exception of destination venues
    Chosen communities are the best sector to focus products and services on as they are passionate and engaged
    I’ve never encountered a highly passionate community with low engagement, other than possibly swinger clubs
  • We can also plot communities on engagement vs. authenticity
    This looks a lot like the Uncanny Valley that defines our feeling toward androids and robots
    At the very bottom we have the dark underbelly of the Internet in the world of MLM and spam
    Digg rides the crest of the wave, occasionally overstepping the monetization line and slipping a little on the authenticity scale
    The uncanny valley contains manufactured communities like Celebration, Florida, a Disney property built to the nostalgic ideals of 1950s era America. High engagement for the few people who live there, a creepy cult-like impression for everyone else.
    Lastly we have 4Chan, a highly engaged community that is authentic in its desire not to be authentic.
  • We can also plot communities on engagement vs. authenticity
    This looks a lot like the Uncanny Valley that defines our feeling toward androids and robots
    At the very bottom we have the dark underbelly of the Internet in the world of MLM and spam
    Digg rides the crest of the wave, occasionally overstepping the monetization line and slipping a little on the authenticity scale
    The uncanny valley contains manufactured communities like Celebration, Florida, a Disney property built to the nostalgic ideals of 1950s era America. High engagement for the few people who live there, a creepy cult-like impression for everyone else.
    Lastly we have 4Chan, a highly engaged community that is authentic in its desire not to be authentic.
  • We can also plot communities on engagement vs. authenticity
    This looks a lot like the Uncanny Valley that defines our feeling toward androids and robots
    At the very bottom we have the dark underbelly of the Internet in the world of MLM and spam
    Digg rides the crest of the wave, occasionally overstepping the monetization line and slipping a little on the authenticity scale
    The uncanny valley contains manufactured communities like Celebration, Florida, a Disney property built to the nostalgic ideals of 1950s era America. High engagement for the few people who live there, a creepy cult-like impression for everyone else.
    Lastly we have 4Chan, a highly engaged community that is authentic in its desire not to be authentic.
  • We can also plot communities on engagement vs. authenticity
    This looks a lot like the Uncanny Valley that defines our feeling toward androids and robots
    At the very bottom we have the dark underbelly of the Internet in the world of MLM and spam
    Digg rides the crest of the wave, occasionally overstepping the monetization line and slipping a little on the authenticity scale
    The uncanny valley contains manufactured communities like Celebration, Florida, a Disney property built to the nostalgic ideals of 1950s era America. High engagement for the few people who live there, a creepy cult-like impression for everyone else.
    Lastly we have 4Chan, a highly engaged community that is authentic in its desire not to be authentic.
  • Final takeaway: communities are like living things. I prefer the term Community Gardner to Community Manager. Communities need hands-on care. They need light and space and food, and you need to know when to get out of the way and let them do their thing.
  • I would love to have your feedback on this presentation. It will take two seconds and you can do it from your iPhones, BlackBerries, Androids, and laptops. Thanks!

Transcript

  • 1. on community
  • 2. geography Photo by @chris (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43753558@N00/250233963/)
  • 3. religion Photo by jdbradley (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesbradley/3855867970/)
  • 4. war Photo by Sam Ilic Photography - STAGE88 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/40195741@N00/3216771987/)
  • 5. ideology Photo by murplej@ne - shit/fuck/dammit/crap (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42632457@N00/3097926093/)
  • 6. creativity Photo by Toban Black (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29125594@N03/3902324244/)
  • 7. types Photo by sillydog (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26084283@N00/72697229//)
  • 8. imposed Photo from Time Magazine (http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1631993,00.html)
  • 9. RY R A BI T AR Map by de:Benutzer:Sansculotte (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karte_berliner_mauer_en.jpg)
  • 10. brutal Photo by Sebastian Niedlich (Grabthar) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42311564@N00/2911055473/)
  • 11. spontaneous Photo by crucially (http://www.flickr.com/photos/47737664@N00/796174803/)
  • 12. red Video from virginamerica.com
  • 13. here Photo by mburpee http://www.flickr.com/photos/76323119@N00/3443121482//)
  • 14. chosen Photo by delarge (http://www.flickr.com/photos/11221312@N00/915629413/)
  • 15. passion Photo by Andrea Balducci (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31941969@N00/197838345/)
  • 16. Photo by Mike (NO captive birds) in Thailand (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26931849@N04/2519640125/)
  • 17. !"##$%& '&("(')'&*
  • 18. #$%& #$%& !" !" !"##$%& ' $%&$' ? #(! '&("(')'&* !"#
  • 19. %&*!*%+%&# !"#$%&#'('#)
  • 20. %&*!*%+%&# !"#$%&#'('#)
  • 21. garden Photo by D Sharon Pruitt (http://www.flickr.com/photos/40645538@N00/3370498035/)
  • 22. @jaygoldman Gimme feedback: http://rypple.com/jgoldman/igniteto2