Community is Key

Community is a wonderful thing – listening, talking, sharing. Does the community around a website, even if informal, affect which sites become your favourites?

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.

7 thoughts on “Community is Key

  1. Thanks for the mention Chris. And I agree with you – there are some blogs I read and where I enjoy the comments at least as much (sometimes more!) than the content itself.

  2. Any time Mike. I think the other great thing about comments communities (oh, I think I just came up with a catchphrase) is the brilliant people you meet. I think I first encountered James (The Infopreneur) in the comments on your site… same with Robert. I met Johnny through a mutual blogging friend too. It just makes the Net a much more enjoyable place than only visiting sites for information and then leaving again.

  3. Hey brother, thanks for the mention top man!

    I totally agree what you're saying here, for me the community is everything it shows the site owner is committed to delivering the message properly, a site could get 1,000 comments every post, but unless the readers and authors are talking to each other it's pointless.

    I love it when my readers cross comment and reply to each other helping each other out, makes it worth while.

    If you ever need anything just give me a shout

  4. Community is Key.I totally agree Chris.The information which you have given in the video,i really liked it.This is a great idea of sharing your thoughts,ideas and experience in a video mode.Appreciate it.Thanks!

  5. No problem James – I see you posted on the community thing too! I've been a bit like a dying duck for the last few days or I'd have replied… I'll head over and do that now.

    It is great when your readers start conversing together, isn't it? It starts to feel like you're introducing people to each other rather than expecting them to only talk to you.

    Catch you later.

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