when you create a ning based community are you simply creating a website or getting involved as a community leader?
.Have started this discussion today because I was thinking about some of the other things that I've done recently in my community that go far beyond web design.
Today one of the things that really sparked this discussion was a member who had been a member for a while was being harassed by a obviously made up account that had just joined for the sole purpose of harassing. As it turns out to two of my members both claim to be married to the same man and the person who had been harassing her was her half-sister who has been stalking and harassing her for years. I spent much of the day back and forth talking to all three parties, the sister who had been stalking I had to ban her because she had broken the law, cyber bullying and cyber stalking. But I agreed to act as a mediator between all three parties and try to at least let them feel safe stay on my site the two that claimed to be married to the guy at least, not the sister. I also agreed to further help them come to a better understanding and try to get past all the problems they've been having.
Another interesting note is many of my members started a group called the natty shack for the purpose of finding land for several of my members to live together in a self-sustaining community. Within two days of creating the group 850 acres of land became available for free. Exactly be right down the street from one of my members who had started the group.
We're waiting a couple weeks to hear back from the owners of properties throughout offered to allow us to come and build there. And in the spring we may be building some eco-Dome and earth ships so our online community may have a off-line components as well soon one in which maybe 30 or 50 of our members all build a house on this land to live together.
My site is about dreadlocks obviously, so many many people come to the important ice about dreadlocks. However many of my members also feel that they can come to be for all sorts of personal problems and advice.
I believe that that really is the essence of creating a strong community online or off-line is a willingness to get involved to care about your members beyond just numbers of members and statistics like that traffic and page content but to care about them as people, get involved in their lives, when they request it or need help. One of my members has been struggling with homelessness for a while and when she was in real need and sent her some money from the donations to the site to help her out as well as that one of the shops that make shampoos to center a care package.
We have also plans but have not yet completed some community improvement projects we started a group to brainstorm ideas of things that we could do around our own communities and neighborhoods to help improve them as individuals or as groups of members who live in the same area.
I know my site is unique in many ways and the community that I've created is very strong very dedicated and unified like very few signs of ever been on. That goes far beyond just the shared interest. It is a strong community that we all believe in and cherish it has become very important to us. I remember one creator on here had asked how do you compete with Facebook. This question was asked in the recent community involvement thing Ning had put on the other day. Well I never set out to compete with Facebook nor ever thought of Facebook as a rival. I did set out to provide truthful alternative to all the other sites about dreadlocks that were harmful and full of lies. Yet result however is dozens of my members deleting their Facebook accounts because they rather spent time on my site.
Facebook has one advantage as a community: size
if you have 100 million people have a community of hundred million people doesn't necessarily mean they are good they are there to get along have arguments you have stupidity have hurt feelings but you are going to have a lot of people. That is all Facebook has his people numbers. As far as community they are uncaring nonexistence as individuals. You can't go to them and talk to them. Facebook is a site place for people to meet that is all it is you don't have to compete with that you can beat that you are person a real person that people can talk to that I can come to a trust.
What you have that as a community? You
you have compassion you have a heart care you get involved become friends.
I have by being a community that cares you already beat Facebook Facebook could not compete with you they don't have the resources to compete with you. They don't have hundreds of thousands of people to talk to their millions of members and become friends.
The only advantage Facebook has over you is millions and millions of dollars and household name recognition to attract millions and millions of people
To a site
Not a community
You may never get millions of people into your community and if you did you just make it harder for to be a community.
But if you have 10,000 20,000 dedicated strong people who are involved with care who feel like they belong
What you have?
A community stronger bigger tighter than many towns.
You have something that Facebook could never ever become, something to be proud of not just something to make you rich.
The community is more than just a place where you feel at home
The purpose of a website provide information to be useful to be interesting.
The purpose of the community is to inspire love feeling of belonging since they could be yourself feel safe as part of a family were community.
Your job has more to do with interacting with your members than it does with working on your site.
Diagnosis of York and say but my sites business site by site about lawyers by sites about doctors were professionals so doesn't matter I don't want to get by without we are there simply as a way for them to network.
But what are the doctors lawyers musicians professionals?
In people with shared interests are community. They have feelings they have problems they are human.
Make them feel like they're part of something special that you really create something amazing.