You spot someone online you like the look of. They have an overlapping area of interest with you. You get chatting, maybe meet up even. You wonder whether there may be possibility of collaboration.

They try to sell you something. You don’t buy. They try to sell you something again. You still resist…

You notice communication with them falls off, and an uneasy feeling starts to creep up on you. You thought you were in their community.

Well I’ve news for you… You’re not. You are only of use to them as a market lead. They want your purse, not your personality or potential.

There’s a new project on here, hence scant posting. And a sorry to those of you who’ve been wondering.

Much of this involves probing group dynamics online, and what is it exactly creates community. My fave aspect of psychology really – the relationship between individual and group.

I’ve already reached one conclusion. A lot of people confuse market with community.

We’re all in markets and communities, some of us more consciously than others.For those of you then, here are some ideas:

Community Evolves Slowly

Community building grows around a common interest: markets grow over common needs. Where you want to sell people something to solve a very clearly defined problem you may be better off sticking with a market. And simply and effectively describing what you do. People like to pootle around a bit in a community. You may be in too much haste to grow one.

Leadership Differs

Community leaders set up and construct opportunities for their members. Market leaders are often too busy being the best and outpacing competition to do this… And hell, they’re not going to give away their secrets anyway…

Community May Not Make Money

You may create a wonderful thriving community around an interest – but it may be of low business value. I’d hazard to guess much of the community around Kindle is like that. Many people giving advice, and with some hoping to profit from it, but of business value almost entirely to Amazon.

Now markets may become communities when individuals realize reciprocal learning is useful and that survival through connecting to and endorsing of others is for the greatest good.

And communities may become markets when enough driven individuals put energy into increasing prosperity for themselves – and from which those around them often benefit too.

I was raised on the market in the photo above, where my granny Nell Peg had a second-hand clothes stall. It was also a tremendous community and when I was 13, I graduated to work on a bread and cake stall there. The market has been destroyed now, to make way for a new and thinly-populated modern shopping centre.

I’m not sure that the local community or the local market really wanted this.

We like spaces at the heart of where we live where market and community merge. Most of us love the creativity, exchange and sociability that can occur there.

But am I sounding middle-aged?

By szcz

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