Community is Key

May 6, 2010 Off By Chris Hinton

I was interested to see a video from Darren Rowse on the blog of Andrew Jones yesterday, talking about how churches should use social media. I know for many of you the subject may fall outside of your area of interest, but stick with me. If you want to watch the video, I’ve embedded it below (you’ll need flash to watch it).

Darren’s thoughts have really made me think, both with my pastor’s hat on and my blogging hat. What I’m thinking is this… Community is Key. I’ll save my thoughts on how this relates to the Church for elsewhere, but I want to record my thoughts on how this relates to everyday blogging here.

See, the blogs that I feel most drawn to are those with a good community. Guys like Mike and Robert have all built up cracking communities around their sites. There’s a common adage that content is king in blogging, and I can certainly understand that point. But given the choice between two sites, both sporting excellent content, it’s the site with the more engaging community that really draws me in. In fact, I might even put up with some slightly inferior content if the community is engaging enough.

How do you create community?
I think it’s one of those delicate things you’ve really got to work at, but if you push too hard it’ll just fade away. One thing I’m absolutely certain of is that it can only be done by genuine interaction – listening to each other, discussing with each other, and sharing with each other.

That’s hard – especially on the Internet where there seems to be so many people happy to insult each other while hiding behind their computer screens. But when it works, the effort of creating… maybe building is a better word… a good community is well with it.

We’ll look at some of the ways community can be built around blogs on Monday, but in the meantime I wanted to know what you think? Is community important when deciding which websites you’re going to visit time and time again? How do you think it can be built up? Let us know in the comments.