What Is Community?


In our previous post, Building Your Community, we began a series on building your community by giving an overview on what an online community really is.

In this post, we offer up our definition of community and preview our next posts on architecting one.



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What is Community?

We think we probably beat this one to death in the post Community, so go ahead and re-read it if you aren’t quite sure what community is.

You’ll recall we defined community as:

A group of people with a shared purpose in a longer-term relationship in which all voices can be heard, and which evolves over time based on where its members want it to go

So that’s what you’re trying to architect.

So You Say You Want a Community?

First ask yourself, “Why?” We assume if you have decided to take the step of creating your own community space that you’ve done your homework. You’ve found your community where it is. You’ve evaluated the quality of the interactions and of the places, and you’ve determined there’s something missing, something you can provide. You’ve honestly decided you need to make a contribution — not to mold or lead, or bend others to your will, but to contribute and provide value.


What Is Community? is the 156th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 394. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

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About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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