Why Do People Join or Lead Communities?
Weekly #041 l Exploring Motivations from Ancient to Modern Times
Hope you enjoyed your weekend fellow wayfinder,
Finally arrived back in Mexico, after 9 weeks in Australia! A severe cyclone in New Zealand delayed my return trip plans, but I got here in the end.
Last week, we discussed Bitcoin Ordinals. This week, we explore why people lead or join communities.
From personal experiences in crypto and Web3 to historical examples from indigenous societies, we delve into the motivations behind community involvement.
Let's dive in.
☕️ Reading time: 3-4 mins.
In a Twitter post I published on Feb 13, 2023, I highlighted a few observations of why people join or lead communities online: loneliness, a desire for attention, or a desire to learn. My Twitter friend, T.K. Coleman, added a fourth:
I’d say #3.
Plus I’ll add a 4th: A genuine desire to connect or collaborate with others around a common cause.
— T.K. Coleman (@TK_Coleman)
Feb 13, 2023
Examples of Community-Building
People have been creating communities since ancient times, and there are plenty of examples of this today. Below are a few from Crypto Twitter (CT) and even pre-Internet era civic neighborhoods. All of which foster a sense of belonging and collective responsibility.
It's been a few weeks since I joined
@SurgenceNFT and I can clearly see why they are considered elite. Tons and tons of value in terms of Education , Alpha , WLs , Utilities and top community. @ruthynft 💯 building something that that will prevail
— Zoltar (@ZOLTARZEUS)
Feb 18, 2023
1 - The Comunity
"Your home is where your heart is"
I really like this phrase, and there's no community where I feel at home, if not this one.
This is an unexplainable feeling, you should just try it to understand it.
— GMC (@GMC2804)
Feb 10, 2023
And here’s an example for someone looking to join a local, neighborhood-based community (loneliness/isolation):
When we moved to Cincinnati we got a downtown apartment, hung out at the pool and knew a bunch of people by the end of the summer.
I think the neighborhood you locate in has a big influence over how easy it is to meet new people.
— 5chw4r7z (@5chw4r7z)
Nov 15, 2021
If you want to dive deeper into what has impacted local neighborhoods, especially in the United States, I suggest reading the book Bowling Alone: The Collapse & Revival of American Community.
Evolution of Communities
Despite changes in the way we communicate and collaborate, there has always been a need for humans to stay connected. As groups of people grew in size, communities formed. But as they grew larger, groups splintered into sub-groups, leading to more formal names such as tribes, clans, guilds, teams, communities, organizations, and so on. Specialization of tasks influenced such coordination at scale.
Examples of kinship systems from across the glove. Source: Anthropology Matters, Youtube
Aboriginal Australians are one of the Earth’s oldest living peoples, dating back 75,000 years. They developed elaborate kinship systems, which helped them connect and collaborate because trust was established through the land ties and kinships themselves. But they were not the only group to use kinship systems.
Many other indigenous groups used similar means to organize and coordinate their people — from the Eskimos to Hawaiians to Sudanese.
In terms of how all these groups established trust, look to Issue #125 where I talk more deeply about this in the context of general indigenous kinship models.
The Aboriginal Australians, however, give us clues as to what sort of systems can last millenniums (i.e. community sustainability).
Modern-Day Community Building
Today's world is surely different. We may not have the same relationships with physical environments, but we do have relationships with digital environments, and still have relationships with people.
Modern identities are increasingly tied to electronic devices and digital avatars, for better or worse. The means by which communities share identities may differ, but there is always a desire to connect, collaborate, and form communities.
Which of the above reasons do you resonate with the most? And what has your motivation been for forming or joining online communities?
Until next week, remember: through patience & persistence, it will come.
What did you think of this week's edition?
Last week's newsletters for premium members:
Daily #199: The origins of Faiā
Daily #200: Celebrating 200 issues
Daily #201: Consulting Opportunities Integrating AI
Daily #202: Immortality & Probability Storms
❤️ Loved this content? Get behind-the-scenes access as I grow my one-person business empire, build more productive communities in the blockchain space, and apply ancient wisdom to modern problems. Click here to upgrade for $10/mo.