Everybody’s talking about community building these days. Often we forget how easy it is (can be) and how frequently it happens. A volcano, some stranded Europeans and Denver. This is how you build a community:
- Get a bunch of people together with more or less similar values.
E.g. museum professionals working on participation.
- Urge them to do something, change their status quo.
E.g. by having a volcano erupt and cause huge ash clouds.
- Make them understand that they’re involved in the new situation.
E.g. by cancelling their flights home.
- Have a community leader/manager take the lead in collaborative action.
E.g. Jennifer Trant who starts a system to find those stranded lodging and something to do.
- Find some early adopters and encourage them to participate and take group action.
E.g. by setting the example yourself and offering your lodging.
- Give the community the freedom to develop by offering tools, not rules.
E.g. pen and paper, a common media channel and enthusiasm.
- Put emphasis on the positive behaviour of individuals in the community.
E.g. by talking to them or retweeting their initiatives.
- Think beyond social media.
E.g. by hosting unconference sessions, meetups and drinks. Or by putting up a pen and paper registration system (see photos).
- Have an open attitude to newcomers.
E.g. by stressing how everybody is in the same situation.
- Ensure and celebrate tangible outcomes within the community.
E.g. by blogging about their events and applauding the success of individuals reaching home.
- Take action over time to reinforce the community.
E.g. by hosting a little event at next year’s conference for those affected by the volcano.