You Might Not Need “Community”

Lee LeFever at Common Craft writes about the difference between community and social strategies. His post is written in a business context but similar thinking might apply in education.

As I’ve written before, I believe that the term ‘online community’ is overused and does not match with the reality of what most organizations want when they say ‘we need an online community’. This post is my way of promoting other ways for us to talk about the opportunities that often fall into the ‘community’ bucket.

First, let me say that ‘community’ is a worthy goal – every business can benefit from building lasting relationships among customers, online and off. This was true long before the Internet.

What I’m concerned with is the difference between ‘community’ and what I would call ‘social strategies’ applied to the web.

Social strategies are concepts and plans for bringing people together on a web site to achieve some specific outcome.

Community is a state of mind that is a by-product of successful social strategies.

He continues with 3 points and examples explaining the difference.

(Via Common Craft.)