A community is a group of people with shared interests sharing a common environment. In human communities, common intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks are just some of the conditions that may be present. The intensity of the blending of these shared attributes affects the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.
Our personal and professional lives consist of communities we identify and associate with. The cohesiveness by which we work together towards common aims creates the effectiveness of the entire communities we have an identity with and influence over. The social web is a mashup of people self organizing into communities and the conversations are what create the cohesiveness from one-to-one to one-to-millions. People self organized into virtual communities represent a collective brand of interest and affinities that create the collective identity. So, what does this mean?
Self organized communities with common identities are becoming a brand of influence. Unlike traditional physical-world brands propagated by business communities these virtual-world communities are self governed, and self controlled only by the thread of conversations that create the influence. Thus, understanding how this phenomenon works and strategically engaging in the process is what we refer to as generating conversational currency. Perhaps the introduction of another concept might prove to be helpful towards our discussion.
Synergy is a term used to describe a situation where different entities cooperate advantageously to promote an outcome that they could not achieve by working alone. Synergy is commonly defined as the whole being greater than the sum of their parts. What this means, for instance in a business situation, is that teamwork will produce an overall better result than if each person was working individually toward the same goal. Social media provides a robust system that can facilitate synergy beyond any previously experienced levels – in families, in business, in churches.
The potential for communities coming together in a spirit of cooperation has always been great. But with the proper application of social media resources the potential for solving mankind’s greatest problems and for meeting our greatest challenges is practically unlimited. Our potential finally has a platform for reaching unprecedented levels of achievement. I find it overwhelming, at times, when I think about the possibilities.
So, there are essentially two questions left begging for a response: What problem are you willing to contribute your energy towards solving? And, who are you going to invite to work with you until it is solved?