Posts Tagged ‘Community’

Does community always matter?

April 6, 2016

…and additionally, is “community” always the same or does community look differently depending on time, circumstance and context?

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A Cosplay gathering (Image courtesy Pixabay user nile | CC0 Public Domain)

Brain Solis has been quoted as saying: “Community is much more than belonging to something; it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter.” The sentiment expressed here seems to be that belonging for the sake of belonging may drive longevity, but it definitely does not drive engagement. At least not in long run. Engaging together as a group in an activity is what makes belonging matter…at least from a community building perspective.

But is that actually so? Do we need to be involved in the sense of “doing something together” to be a community? Does community always equal engagement? Are communal activities always needed to drive community?

It seems to me that sometimes, we just want to be a part of a community, and that there are different levels of commitment, but all may be communities. After all, there are valid arguments that belonging matters more than engagement in the sense of shared activity: it matters to us for visibility…or the size of the group may be what matters… or we may belong because the group inspires trust. In fact, there seem to be times when just belonging for the sake of belonging is what matters. And these “communities” are often vibrant. The real question though may well be: are they long lasting or just a moment in time?

I have listed some references below that speak to various aspects of this thought. I’d like to know yours.

Just belonging matters:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201203/it-is-motivating-belong-group

http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/18/belonging-matters-researchers-halve-racial-gpa-gap-with-brief-exercise/

Visibility matters: http://gradworks.umi.com/36/63/3663476.html

Size matters: http://macdgroup.com/2013/10/15/why-size-matters/

Trust Matters: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00661/full

Take Your Time to Eat the Donuts…

July 25, 2013

DDdrinkI recently have been reading in various sources (for example, NFR Stores) that Dunkin Donuts has been upgrading sites with a new design that encourages people to linger.

This is an interesting progression in the Dunkin Donuts lifeline. Being originally from the northern Mid-Atlantic region, and having spent significant time in NE and the upper Midwest, I saw coffee shops (DD in particular) as a hangout place. At the time, they had actual counter service (like a diner) and you could also choose a booth or table. Lingering was actively encouraged, as incremental sales occurred from additional time and the products had significant margins. (I hopefully scoured the net for a picture of DDs in the 80’s but had no luck…)

DD new image<

But the feeling also prevailed that was OK to know the staff (and they you), and also the regulars. Some people seemed to pretty much hang out there all day…they were there in the morning and they were there at night. It was the nonalcoholic meeting place of choice, in a time where focus on drinking and driving was just coming into its own.
In recent times, DD has seemed more focused on getting people in and out of the store, pushing the use of drive through windows and generally depersonalizing the locations. In these days of relationship building, the time to re-engage has arrived.

While the new technologies (TVs, wireless, comfy chairs) will help the cause, I think the main objective to once again achieve a feeling of comfort and welcome, of community, and to convey that it is once again OK to just hang…

I for one hope they do achieve this, as it was always more homey to hang in a DD than it ever has been in the more eclectic and or pseudo retro coffee shops today….