It’s not easy being a communitarian in a world where we do most of our interacting via keyboard. I believe that hobby groups are a vitally important engine for building community—but the reality is, some groups gel and some don’t.
I just disbanded my book club, because despite having a good number of “interested parties,” only 2-3 people were showing up for each meeting. It’s hard to have a lively exchange of ideas with that high of a no-show rate.
But the keys to building community are: don’t take anything personally, and don’t give up. So this particular group didn’t work out. I’m already making plans for my next one.
Group-making is rarely easy, but it’s ultimately very worthwhile. 8 years ago
As a communitarian, I am increasingly alarmed by the “flake factor” in our culture. Feel free to check out this entry from my blog:
. . . And take note, flakers: please, please stop it. You’re contributing to lots of wear and tear in the fabric of community. 8 years ago
I believe in activity groups! I’d love to see everyone starting or joining vibrant groups of people who come together with common passions. We make our best connections face-to-face.
Meetup.com is trying to charge you for something that’s already free. Please check out this blog entry for some free ways to create groups in your community.
. . . And get on out there and meet some like minds! 8 years ago
I’ve tried not to feel this way for a long time, but I gotta own up to it: I am disenchanted with Tribe. I know they’re supposed to be this great engine for community-building, but the more I use it, the more I become convinced that this is only true for a thin slice of the population. Not to mention, what’s supposed to pass as “sharing ideas and conversation” so often seems to degernerate into potty-mouth silliness on the forums. It’s noise, not community. I’m giving the whole thing up. 8 years ago
I think people are desperate to connect meaningfully with one another. We’ve evolved our social realm to a point where many people don’t know their nearest neighbors, but spend hours chatting online with people in other cities.
So one of my current missions is to create activity groups in my town, bringing people together for constructive face-time. To that end, I organize a monthly crafting group, a book club, and a mandala-making group. I like my groups to be focused on a specific activity, rather than just “hanging out and talking,” because I find that deeper conversation happens when everyone’s chatter-mind is occupied with whatever we’re doing.
It’s not a huge investment of time to maintain a group once you’ve done the groundwork, and the experiences that come from these meetings are rewarding indeed. And with Craig’s List in so many cities, putting the word out for participants is simpler than ever. 8 years ago