Community Architect

My new job title.

In my earlier post, The Practice of Community, I defined community to be the integration of the many into the one. Not a bad central concept, but I did not develop any mechanics as to how one actually goes about doing it. Upon further thought I am starting to see how it may work.

Scenario: A client or potential customer approaches you and says, “We need a blog for Brand X”. Now you have a choice as to how to respond.

Option A:

That’s great. I agree. Let me tell you about your blogging options…

Option B:

Why?

The “Option A” response is the technologist. It probably leads to immediate revenue, and a blog that does not deliver any significant ROI. The “Option B” response is the architect. It leads to a long discussion with the client and maybe no revenue, but with the client ultimately making the best decision possible.

I am clearly an architect by nature. I am always trying to find the new design that works better. I am always looking at how myriad things are interconnected. Now I have come to understand that the single concept that encompasses all of the new activity we are seeing happen on-line is the concept of community. So I figure that makes me a Community Architect.

Think about building a house. The object of activity is the house. The house is designed and built to meet the needs and desires of the home owners. The key roles in building the house are architect, general contractor, and sub-contractor.

Now let’s look at Community. The object of activity is the Social Object, the thing about which conversation revolves. The community emerges to meet the needs and desires of the community members. The roles that seem to be in place now to build (planned) communities are the agencies (general contractors) and the tool vendors (sub-contractors). Hey wait! Who is responsible for seeing the big picture? Who works with the community to understand their needs and desires? We need a Community Architect!

The community architect is the one that has the vision of how to integrate the many into the one. Everyone needs a community architect. Send me a tweet, anytime. 🙂

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