The power of community

It may sound like a fluffy word or concept, but it is actually really powerful. Maybe stronger than many things.

When people are connected, they feel good and warm, and part of something larger than themselves. When people are adapting , all the unique efforts increases the whole general effort, and that means you’ve got a good deal of leverage.

There are many examples of this. Here’s one: now is International Women’s Day — basically an attempt to get 1/2 half of humankind linked and aligned around a feeling of community. On a much smaller degree (and as part of this ), a few friends of ours own a restaurant near where we live. The restaurant itself is a significant centre of community where we live, and now it was plugging into an even larger community movement.

Or, dating back to a previous life where I helped create Streetsblog and Streetfilms: these were equally community websites efforts in the transport policy space. What Streetsblog and Streetfilms additional were online areas where this enthusiastic community could come together, gain energy, and grow. The streetsblog remarks section was (and is, now ) a hotbed of community, as well as the Streetfilms movies (almost 1000 now ) highlighted community stories and community members. It was, and is now, a strong force which has multiplied the effectiveness of individuals working on these problems.

Or let us look at examples in the cryptocurrency area, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. Both of these (and other powerful communities in the crypto area ) have developed something larger than a business ever could, concerning the link and alignment of their community. These communities are wild and wooly, for certain, but they’re broad and deep and strong. Individuals that are deep into them feel like the are actually a part of something.

At USV, we spend quite a lot in community. The USV Network started out as a pilot program led by Gary back in 2010, was subsequently grown bigger by Brittany, and is presently a 4-person group, scaled up by Bethany, that is running over 150 events each year and handling a ~4,000 individual online community.

It can be tough to gauge the effects of community, and this may make it tough to understand how well you are doing when your job is to nurture. But sometimes you just have to know it when you see it feel it.

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