Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Your communities are about you and for you. Having introduced some concepts about community in my recent posts, it is time to talk about you, to help you find your place, your pursuits, and your communities. You work; you go to school; you eat; you sleep; you do a lot of things that you have to do. The demands on your time and energy seem endless. And it gets even worse if you feel the pull of social media and a sort of 24/7 accountability to your “friends” and “followers.” …

Communities and networks (of people) are closely related concepts in that they describe how you connect to other people. Both are important. The differences between community and network are defined by the ways that you connect to others.

What does it mean that the average number of “friends” for someone on Facebook is 338 or that an average LinkedIn user has close to 1,000 connections? While it might sound impressive and even provide a sense of sociability, it is important to realize that these reflect robust networks and, most likely, not communities.

Specifically, a network is a set of relationships…

We know we want connection and belongingness. We know that we get them from friendships and communities. But what do we mean when we talk about a community? We need to build a foundation for a shared understanding of communities — why they are important, what they are, and how they are important to each of us.

Remember Steve from my previous post? He had left his position to venture out on his own. While successful from the business side, he missed the friendships and the community of his workplace. …

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increasing awareness of a different problem: the epidemic of loneliness. As we emerge from the pandemic, we also have to think about how we will re-connect.

Consider someone like Steve, a successful corporate manager who had been working happily at the same company for about fifteen years. In 2019, Steve was ready to do something less intense and different. After giving notice, he talked with people to find out the options and identified a few potential projects that he could work on from home. …

Kathy Edersheim

Community builder/consultant, working and writing to help people find connection and belonging, specialty in alumni organizations

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