The last of the five principles for creating community connections at scale is shared responsibility. This principle underpins all of the others and, while we’ve spoken a lot about growing community using these principles, without this final one tying them all together then we’ve essentially built a house of cards that will always be ready to collapse and isn’t going to create those long-lasting community connections at any scale.
The fourth of the five principles for creating community connections at scale is social learning. This is a huge topic that folks far smarter than me have written about, so I’m going to pick out some of the core principles of social learning here and look at how they can be applied to community building.
We all understand that meeting together is a great way to form connections and build rapport with each other. With that in mind, what I’m going to talk about in this post isn’t so much why we meet but rather how we think about and plan these shared experiences for our communities. It is only by being honest about how we bring people together that we can begin to see tangible results.
Support may seem like a fairly basic thing to focus on, but it’s far more nuanced than you might initially expect. You need to ask yourself – what do my community’s members need? How can I support them as they become more active in the community? How can I support them in their endeavours outside of the community?
Safety may feel like a relatively basic thing to ensure, but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook, especially when you, as the community manager, don’t struggle with the same safety issues as members of your community. You need to ask yourself – what potential dangers can members of my community face, and what can I do to mitigate those factors? What can I do to make sure my community members feel safe?
I have previously written about how you can set the stage for people in your community to create connections between each other. While that post outlines a starting point – a way to initiate your community platform and get people talking – what happens down the line? As a community grows, new challenges are discovered and new solutions are needed. These five principles will set you in good stead for meeting those challenges.