But if communities are so much a part of humanity, why do many fail? There are more communities available to us than we are able to join. We filter those we don’t have affinity to. We are stretched too thin and cannot be at every party — and give each one our gifts. We run out of time, energy, and willingness to participate. So we choose our attachments. If only we understood how.
Communities require emotional attachments that makes them communities — they (usually via their leaders) must develop a sense of Shared Fate. Shared fate means that if something happens to the community, then each member feels affected by it.
… and then there’s shared faith which is essential in community building and “nourishing”.
Gil Yehuda cites open source development projects, which can (sometimes) lead to extraordinary results, and goes on to talk about in-house community building and the steps it takes.
This is a great post and an equally inspiring discussion – touching actual community management, the dynamics of communities (of practice), why we need to foster them (resilience, collaboration, motivation only being some of the points) and the design and patterns that underly them. These sort of communities, ie. communities that share fate and faith, are what makes work and workplaces meaningful (and sometimes enjoyable) …
PS. Yes, I am writing this on an Ubuntu-powered GNU Linux machine, in Firefox, and this post will get published on an Apache powered Linux webserver again, so much on what communities can achieve.
Extended blog post based upon a posterous entry.