Friday, March 26, 2010

In Search of an Online Community

"Has it been this way all along?" I quietly ask myself. If not, what changed?

For quite some time, I have been without a home. Not a physical home, but an online community that satisfies my need for discussion.

With the blog, I hoped to create a community that would actively read posts and discuss the issues raised. Unfortunately, the blog never really did that for me.

I attempted to build a community using Wibiya and Meebo toolbars, but the engagement never materialized.

I use Twitter, but find it difficult to maintain an ongoing group discussion.

Facebook, on the other hand, has recently emerged as my community of choice. Built on a growing list of friends, family, and associates, I can make a statement and get instant feedback. The site not only facilitates one-on-one interactions, but it also encourages group discussions.

I'm not sure how long Facebook will be around or how long this sense of community will remain, but for now I choose to enjoy it.

My hope, and I'm thinking back to my years with the Labyrinth, is that this community will continue to indulge me and my blog posts. I, in return, will do my best to read and comment on their contributions as well.

Where does this paradigm shift originate? Honestly, I think it came from my time with the Third Tribe. Built on a community of professionals, members talk regularly about social media strategies. To my surprise, the experience reminded of something I once had with the Labyrinth.

The Labyrinth, my first online blogging site and close knit community, had a substantial number of active bloggers and readers. Those of us selected to write would offer readers a colorful view of life. Blog topics ranged from relationships to business. Looking back, I realize that we were a large, and extremely close, support group with plenty of shared moments.

For me, the Labyrinth and the Third Tribe are how I define a community. Like eating popcorn and candy at a movie, writing a blog and discussing relevant issues with an interesting community goes hand in hand. Today, that place is Facebook.

With that written, I would like to thank my Lab family for such a memorable experience. To the creators and members of the Third Tribe, I applaud you for reminding me how much I miss community life. To my friends on Twitter, Friendfeed, Buzz, and Google Reader, I still value you and the interactions we share there. Finally, to my people on Facebook, thank you for engaging and challenging me each and every day.

To you, the reader, if you are interested in joining the fun, I personally invite you to check us out on my Facebook page, today!

Thanks for reading, until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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