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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

Take your members feel at home a really done your job as community create it doesn't matter how ugly your site is the site design doesn't matter it doesn't matter if you don't know HTML CSS JavaScript or even how to spell right. Your job isn't a webpage designer. It's a community creator.

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.

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  • I absolutely agree, 100%! I am asked for advice all of the time, a lot of the time it's to do with money problems, and personal issues. If you take the time to listen, and react appropriately to your member's plea/problems, they will look at you and your network with unsurpassed value. It's so easy to post something on say Twitter or Facebook, awaiting status response to make you feel better, but usually one sits anxious, waiting for the next comment or like on their feelings, to assure them that they are not failing miserably at life. What's not easy is being an online Councillor to many different types of people with different types of problems.

    For example, I had a member message me, asking me if I could give him 6 months of VIP Store upgrade free (more profit, lower costs, .com addy) and in return he would begin a massive campaign to advertise Addictapic and Addictapic Photo Gifts on his other well populated social networking accounts such as Google + and Facebook. This isn't possible on my end, I can create coupons for discounts, but I can't award free VIP upgrades.

    The reason he had asked me for the free VIP upgrade, was because he isn't working, he's volunteered 100% of his time to taking care of his friend, who is suffering with cancer. So his funds are dwindling, and needs to make good money fast. (By upgrading to VIP in AP Photo Gifts, you make a heck of a lot more money.)

    I told him I would consider his request.

    The next day, I messaged him telling him that I had made $70 from AP Photo Gifts two days before, and it would go into my Paypal on the 15th. I told him that no action was required or expected of him in return, and said I'd give him the $60 as a gift, because I respected what he was doing for his friend, a personality trait I look highly upon.

    This member could not have been any happier! He went off on his campaign, and to this day his campaign still continues! On the 15th, I will send $60 to his Paypal.

    Things like this make ALL the difference. This is where "word of mouth" and "reputation" come into play, especially considering this...

    Look at all these huge/successful businesses... can you talk to the CEO? Just hit him/her up for a chat? Can you ask them questions directly? Will they ever just "give" you something, without expectation of company advancement? No.

    The business/financial structure throughout humanity is destroying us. Connect with your members, they are real people, with real emotions, real problems. Help when you can, and you will find a new you, and a new network vision that will set you apart from the rest.

    Excellent post SoaringEagle, I almost got into the whole society conversation on that one! Lol. We won't go there.... ;)

    • much respect for that some of my members were struggling finding jobs too i set up a shops subdomain and added free shops (70 or more signed up for shops only 3 ever fully configured them and got them running) but almost 100 have listed etsy shops and such plus i added a classifieds for crafters that cant make enough products to run shops

      1 of the 3 has both an etsy and a shop on my site and soon will delete etsy and only run hers on my site cause shes made more there)

      on the word of mouth aspect my members might gp to fests and hand out fliers they tell [pl they meet on the street ive had ppl join and tell me they heard about the site through a student in class in school

      or even from a teacher

      i dont have time to run my site a facebook page a youtube channel a twitter account a google +- a pinterest a tumbler etc etc etc but my members have volunteered to run one of each for me

      some have slacked off so weve had to create new ones  but my members are allwayd looking fir new ways to spread the word at 1 point 1 started a "why we have dreads video series around 100 members created a vid about why they had dreads and then talking about how wonderful the community is..others are creatting blogs just to add links to the site

      we are only 3 years old and competing with sites over 10 years old we already got tripple tre traffic of them but are slowly but surely knockibg them out of the top possitions on short tail search terms (single word)  and its mostly due to ppl being excited about the community and trying to help it succeed its their home .. thats how they feel about it  its not just a site so if its closed down they go somewhere else..its the only site they are on every day

      in fact often they say "i neve join forums or social sites i never seen the point but this sites different i had to join"

      thats prof that you stand out amongst the rest ad have made something special that will suceed

      • Isn't that the truth! :)

        I have a member, he's a professional photographer, an old school pro who knows his laws and social networks! He's been around the block you could say. One look at his photography and you just know he's among some of the best.

        He sends messages (actually their more like ebooks, ha ha) unlike any I've ever received. He said that he's not really impressed with what's out there, and he's been invited to a lot of networks that claimed a lot, but failed in the most important fields. He joined Addictapic because he felt it deserved a chance.

        There was a lot of issues in his eyes, and when he invited his pro friends, they refused due to certain issues this member had himself already pointed out. He even mentioned he would leave Addictapic if certain measures were not taken. His content, comments, blog posts, etc. are priceless on my network, so I communicated in depth with him, made changes as I chatted with him, which impressed him as he expected a lot of time would be needed.

        I'm proud to say that he no longer has any complaints, and his suggestions now are only based around appearance or certain site language.

        I'm pretty sure he's Addicted....

        When you put hours of dedication into your network, and approach it as a community, not just a website that hopefully will make money, people who pass through will somehow, someway, notice.

        I don't have a lot of members, but I have a lot of addicts.. sorry, members, that frequently use the network every day.

        I love your network SoaringEagle, it's incredible how involved your community is, I frequently visit to see what's new. :)

        Anywho, back to the style sheet... ;)

        • haha its nice to see ppl who dont even have dreads visit just for the community :)

  • Last week I lost my hard drive in the Main Comp...that has everything
    Yep everything.
    All that was acquired and held in the Drive ( by my fatal error) went into Cyberspace..I mean the OS went Bye Bye- cyberspace- lala land -Somewhere over the rainbow.....and then the numbness set in ..
    Actually knowing I just blew out five years of files~Perhaps it was depression or falling in degrees,...( took it to DataRetrival corp.-/ that may not have been a good idea)
    In any case-I think a serious drop in my "connectivity to Others" was extremely diminished in the blink of an eye.
    And so today is my first day back to ning (YEAH) and friends and I am using Ubuntu of all things (HeeHee) and I thought to see what I could gather together to Start over -creating some new files~ and your sincere - Letter of concern caught my eye_

    I mention all that beforehand - because I suddenly realized that WE as creators of Connections - really have at our disposal - A GREAT TOOL. A Great Universe of opportunity.

    • Connection; One heart one mind - is what it is all about<>

    Soaringeagle writes: "

    SE "As far as community they are uncaring nonexistence as individuals.
    You can't go to them and talk to them. -Fakebook is a site place for people to meet,... that is all it is..
    My Comment.( Humanity is like that one to another globally)
    SE..."you don't have to compete with that --
    SE..."you can beat that are person... a real person that people can talk to,... that I can come to a trust."~
    My Comment:
    TRUST is the big factor....How do WE as a human collective become one heart one the big question and how can WE as those who are trying to obtain Connection for all the Right reasons Accomplish this goal of connecting hearts~and minds for the good of humanity...

    For it is the conduct of the Good to do Good~ Let us become OneVoice of love.
    When you care for others one cannot help but look for the golden opportunities of communication.
    IMHO, it is way past Time to go up Higher..Time for the light 2 shine upon one and all in Just distribution, communication and bestowal to one another...WE will not continue to exist unless WE do.
    WE are one big human family and WE just need to learn to open our stony hearts and get along...animals and children can do it...Sadly Humanity is just learning how...

    J&T @ and

    ~Thank you for your open heart...
    • well said and all i could think of while reading this was a spoken word peice from 1 of the rainbow gatherings i forget wich but ill attach it

    • well said and all i could think of while reading this was a spoken word peice from 1 of the rainbow gatherings i forget wich but ill attach it

    • well said and all i could think of while reading this was a spoken word peice from 1 of the rainbow gatherings i forget wich but ill attach it

      too big ok ill link to it

      theres the whole list its number 3 on there

      • Wow nice layout on your site...
        I am still adding stuff to this Drive- to View and hear items of interest LOL so I will have to check it out when it will load for me...
        Thanks for the interconnect.

        • thnx  i had fun on the design haha but sas much work as i put into design most members dont notice much i change  its still the community that matters

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