Recently I’ve been re-inspired with the whole concept of community. Whilst it’s always been in my heart, it’s easy to let life overflow with other things.
I’ve always enjoyed software testing, but the ability to create a community is really what has continually sparked my fire.
I’m currently really enjoy reading The Art of Gathering. This one is really inspiring me to make important, sometimes subtle changes, to how we do things at TestBash and Ministry of Testing. I came across Priya on a podcast on The Good Life Project.
I’ve been slowly going back to Flickr as a user recently, which also reminded me of Caterina Fake. Tim Ferris had a podcast with her, I’m currently going though some others that I find of her.
Caterina has laid the path for so much community inspiration. I love how the podcasts above clearly show how Flickr was a community first, and a pioneer in ‘social features’. Communities, like Flickr, were about the conversation and connecting honestly with people. Caterina sees social media as the corruption of communities.
And this doesn’t apply only to what we call “social media.” There are many communities online: Marketplaces. Crowd-funding platforms. Content sites. And many of them are thriving, because they recognize, as Caterina does, that what you’re creating is a civilization. You are the framer, the giver of laws, the establisher of norms — and the way you lead your first generation of users will shape how they lead the next generation and the next.
That’s why I believe every founder of an online community has to shape the culture from day one, because the tone you set is the tone you’re gonna keep.
I like how Caterina refers to community building as creating a civilisation, it is very much what Ministry of Testing feels like to me! 😀
And interestingly, the framing, the establishing of norms is something that Priya talks about in The Art of Gathering.
Braving the Wilderness was another book that I enjoyed recently, it’s all about belonging. And very much aligns with all things community, as to me, belonging is very much about finding your tribe.
All in, I’m feeling super positivity about intentionally diving into all this community stuff again. Feels like I’m coming home again 🙂