How Do We Build Community?
The Answer, in a Few Words…
We build community by communicating.
In Bowling Alone, Robert D. Putnam says “Communication is a fundamental prerequisite for social and emotional connections.” “Social and emotional connections” is a succinct definition of community.
Putnam goes on to quote Internet theorist Michael Strangelove who said,
The Internet is mass participation in fully bidirectional, uncensored mass communication. Communication is the basis, the foundation, the radical ground and root upon which all community stands, grows and thrives.
Thanks to the Internet, the ease of communicating with people all over the planet makes it possible to build community globally. Building community with people from other countries makes what once was unfamiliar to us familiar – family-like. This is the heart of the process of community building.
Yet, even if we are from the same country, culture, age group and economic and religious background, you and I don’t really know one another until we’ve come into community together. Before we attempt to build community on a global scale, we need to learn to build community on a personal one.
When we build a community, we increase the number of people on the planet who know what community is. Then the members of that community, too, can build a community and that number will increase further.
Can We Build Community Online?
Sure we can! We can use our favourite online platforms to find people who want to build a community with us. Once we have a committed group, we can meet via video chatting platforms like Skype or Zoom or FB Messenger.
Sounding the Drum contains a simple guide to show what community is, how a community grows, and how to participate in that process. It also includes the steps for building a community online.
It was my hope when I published this book that it would increase the number of communities in the world. I still hold that hope.
Are you a community-builder?
Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash