Digital Community Equals Meaningful Relationships

Posted by Leon Tong on 09 Aug, 2013

Last month I was both privileged and honoured to be invited to present alongside one of our clients (Toby Retallick from Youth Music) at the Charity Comms Digital Impact Conference. As per the Charity Comms web site: this event explored emerging trends, challenges and examples of innovation and best practice in digital communications.

Toby works on the Youth Music Network which reaches out to over 100,000 children via more than 300 music education projects across the UK. BrightLemon recently won a competitive tender to help grow and develop the network over the coming years.

Toby and I shared the stage to present to an audience of communications and digital specialists from the third sector. Many already have existing online communities.

I presented on the theory of digital community while Toby talked about the practical side citing examples from the Youth Music Network.

Blog YM Doing More with Less (1)

Niche community equals meaningful relationships.

Meaningful Relationships

It is no secret that outreach, recruitment and engagement in digital are achieved by creating a (sense of) community. The important trend to recognise is that increasingly this will be via niche community.
Users who have the same interests, needs and wants engage with each other in far more meaningful and lasting ways.
Niche community is what gives rise to meaningful relationships.
Blog YM Doing More with Less (2)
Our niche social brain has not evolved.

Transient relationships: 15 minutes (140 characters) of fame

One of the things I personally dislike about social media
—  indeed media in general
—   is the trend towards transient relationships. Warhol’s 15 minutes has become 140 characters. Sound bites pervade all forms of mass communication.
But charities have a major advantage over corporates.
Charities already have the meaningful relationship. They already have the niche community. It does not have to be fabricated.
Blog YM Doing More with Less (3)

A successful community is useful, niche and content driven.
Successful communities are niche.
Successful communities are useful.
Successful communities are content driven.
Charities have all of these three in abundance.

Tags: Online Communities, Engagement, Groups, Meaningful relationships, Youth music, Music, Charity comms