Three Cornerstones of Building Community

By Shaun Johnson

[Shaun is co-founder of the Startup Institute. You can follow him or find out more on Twitter, @idealexit.]

imageWhether online or offline, community management is ultra-important. While I think it’s an architectural anomaly to have 3 cornerstones, here goes the 3 attributes of building community:

Be selfishly selfless: In the community, good guys finish first. These are the people you know will help, because they’ve been helpful time and time again. Consequently, being top of mind as a helper, builder or connecter, also makes you top of mind when there are favors to repay. From free concert tickets to a recommendation for dream job, selfless people get served first.

Now, that’s not to say closed mouths get fed, which brings me to my next point…

Communicate like your life depends on it: Because it does. Communicate your needs, your successes, your overall state/status. No one knows what’s happening until to convey that information. And the less information you convey, the more we all become isolated from you, from each other.

And for the most obvious element in building the community…image

You’ve got to be in it to win it: At the very least this means not letting too much time pass without letting your presence be felt. Show up to an event, post content, or be an active absorber. I think it’s really peculiar how people decide not to attend a function because no one is there, but if everyone is there, it’s must-attend. Understand that you are both no one and everyone. Community can be scored and attendance is a huge part of the grade.

Photos by Jingni Wei