Community…the way it used to be
I’m going to spend all of next week with real live human beings. What a concept!
Community and content have taken on new meanings in the digital world. Communities are mass online targeted groups and content is what we post, blog, tweet, Instagram, and Pin.
But that’s not real. People are real.
I just moved into a new WeWork space and I was talking to the community managers about how I wanted to start a group of Boomer entrepreneurs, because our goals and experiences are different in some ways from those of Millennial entrepreneurs. “Start a group on the app,” I was advised. We then discussed how live connection is often deeper, richer, and more genuine than text messaging and that perhaps a live event might draw more of a crowd.
(I was actually kind of surprised and saddened yesterday that although everyone was moving into the same new space, I was one of the few people who stopped by to visit my “neighbors” and say hello or start up conversations around the bagel and fruit trays. I understand that speaking to strangers is tough, but live communication seems to be a dying art.)
Next week, I’ll be going to two big conferences. I’m really excited to be spending so much time in the real world — smiling, shaking hands, sharing meals and beverages, and talking to total strangers in elevators, conference sessions, and on the trade show floor. Both conferences also happen to be in very social industries — Nightclub & Bar and the Tri-State Camp Conference.
Although vastly different, bars and summer camps are venues that encourage talking to strangers, making new friends, and sharing experiences. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to them.
Of course, some attendees (and exhibitors) will have their eyes glued to their smart phones and will miss an opportunity to connect, communicate, and celebrate. They’ll share their content and feel as if they’re part of the community.
But those of us who remember the good old days of eye contact, handshakes, hellos, and conversation will be richer for it. Because some things in life transcend an app.
Keeping it real…