Reviews, Views and Adventures in Content Creation

Monday, August 30, 2010

Building Community Online - Where's the Town Square?

I've been spending the last couple of weeks recharging my batteries, so to speak, in relation to my social media activity.   It's not exactly a creative block - I know, generally what my next several vlogs, audioboos, and blogs might be about - but I'm also after a more productive use of these resources.  

Productive, in my case, extends to both the practical (how can this help me really) to my more community-based interests.

The concept of community online is a bit difficult to grasp - especially as technologies change, new sites develop, and new concepts emerge.  In the real world, a group of communities form a city or, at least, common geographic area with common interests.   In the YouTube world, there are countless communities based on individuals (or more generally speaking, channels) - but few opportunities for the larger YT community to "gather" to explore common interests (to "grow" the overall community, for example).  

There have been and continue to be attempts - websites and attempts at limited community governance - to bring this world together for the "common good."  The "Common Good," of course, may be as hard to define as "common sense."  Still, I think there's a great opportunity in certain areas to act in concert to achieve individual goals, while at the same time preserving and expanding the vibrant individual communities each YouTuber builds.

One of my hopes for Vidcon was/is that it can offer the opportunity to create unified efforts to help build the community - an effort, perhaps, not based on the corporate YouTube structure, but on the establishment of vlogging as a platform (living largely on YT, but ultimately not limited to that world).  Combine Vidcon with BillTVMacon's online NoCon concept, and the result might be the beginning of a central community "town square."

1 comment:

  1. Part of the difficulty in expressing the idea of online community is that all too often we associate it with a particular site. Why not? That's the "place" involved, and the corporate entity behind the site certainly would like us to think that their business location is the only place our community could exist.

    But from what I've seen over many years in small bits, and in a larger scale with YouTube, is that the site is the smallest part of the equation. YouTube may have brought a lot of people together into communities, but many of those communities have, as a group, migrated to other sites.

    I am part of a couple of former-YouTube communities, groups of friends who have for one reason or another, pretty much abandoned YouTube, and have settled on another platform to continue our association. And that platform, too, may prove to be transient.

    Community first; platform second.