Been reading an interesting post by Tim Porter on an article by Markoff. Anyway, stumbled across this quote which really reinforces one of the key tenets of my Participatory Communications Workshop – that is, the rise of communities:
"The internet is more than a bonding agent; it is also a bridging agent for creating and sustaining community. Some 84% of internet users, or close to 100 million people, belong to groups that have an online presence. More than half have joined those groups since getting internet access; those who were group members before getting access say their use of the internet has bound them closer to the group. Members of online groups also say the internet increases the chances that they will interact with people outside their social class, racial group or generational cohor." Pew Internet Survey
Tim makes the point: "To borrow a phrase from Hodding Carter and convert it into advice for newspapers: Don’t reflect the community, be the community". Same goes for the PR pros and brand communicators. Don’t just message to the community. Engage in the community.