WebJunction recently excerpted chapter 5 of my new book in this article: Designing the Digital Experience: What is Community?
Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:
Chapter 5 – What Is Community Focus?
What exactly is community focus, and how does it facilitate experiences in the digital space? To answer these questions, let’s consider what community focus means in the context of physical spaces, such as in a town hall meeting. In such meetings, people are focusing on one another: listening, sharing opinions, and discussing community needs. This type of interaction allows community members to voice opinions and concerns, providing a voice for the community. In this context, we can say community focus is an emphasis on participants’ ideas, concerns, and interactions.
The town hall meeting is just one example; people obviously hold many different types of meetings, from religious gatherings to departmental business meetings to family reunions. We tend to think meetings are important. Why is that? Because we find conversation important, and meeting together facilitates conversation.
Conversation inherently facilitates something else, too. It allows us to interact with members of our community with whom we wouldn’t normally interact or even know. This type of interaction allows us to feel as if we are participating in the “grand scheme of things.” The challenge, then, is to usher community into our digital space.