📻 — 3 Posts on the Future of Community

Morning yenizens!

I’ve got 3, must-read 🔗s for you. That’s it. Have a great Tuesday.

To infinity & community,

— john


1. NBA Star… or YouTube Star?

Matisse Thybulle has posted two videos to his channel so far. The videos aren’t the sanitized content you usually see from the NBA. It’s a rather candid, inside look at the ups and downs of living in isolation. One memorable moment during the video is his dinner meal. His meal delivery comes without utensils. He assumes it’s intentional. It’s not. He then attempts to eat his soup with the lid of the soup bowl. Finally, he orders a spoon from the staff. This hilarious but sincere moment is something that relates to everyone. The players are human. It’s great to see that first-hand.

via Ari Lewis

There’s a few links worth clicking-through and, as Blake mentions:

We are all witnessing a shift in media. Traditional celebrities are realizing that they can extract the media value from the platforms (NBA, in this case) to the individual by inviting people directly into their worlds.

If video isn’t part of your community strategy, then, I think there’s a real missed opportunity here folks.


2. Network + Tool = Community?

This post is a doozy with dozens of valuable links and resources to dive into at a later time — it’s one I’ve gone back to a handful of times over the last year to refresh and to reflect, anew:

Different users of the “community” word have different motivations, and these motivations will be the origin of conflict — conflict not only about the word’s meaning, but about how this type of business should be operated.

But these debates, no matter how uncomfortable, should be had.

Because in a very real way, the financial and social sustainability of paid communities will depend on the degree to which the communities are recognized not as a monetizable resource but as a body of people with social needs, emotional lives, and practical concerns of livelihood.

via Subpixel

The future of (paid) communities will be largely about the business model that ends up supporting the system; hopefully, in a sustainable manner.


3. The Politics of Community in 2020 (and Beyond)

The work by Toby Shorin is so good that the third link to share this morning is a response to his work in #2 and Aaron believes this is one of the more important pull-quotes from Toby’s monster work:

Because the mainstream social networks have been designed by a tiny number of people, we have been prevented from experimenting and creating new knowledge about what sustainable community management online looks like. Start erasing the line between operators, customers, and community members disappears, and squint; you begin make out the shape of a group of people who can build for themselves and determine their own path of development.

via Aaron Lewis

If you want more of what he unearths, he shares the map of his journey:

Topics on the docket: distributed universities, hype houses, Kanye’s charter city, the political “grain” of online platforms, Silicon Valley’s desire to “disrupt” the nation-state, and digital localism.

The political angle is particularly interesting (and worthy of our thoughts):

I’m personally really curious about the political orientation of these new de-centralized networks. … It seems like a fundamental (but often unspoken) political question of the 2020s is: to what extent are we OK with accelerating into the digital realm and leaving the IRL material world behind?

Food for thought… if not now, then, definitely later.

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