There has been, over the years, a lot of chatter about communities and tribes and networking.
And I have universally hated every part of the discussion.
See, I am an introvert. In my day to day life, when asked to name twenty-five people to take out to lunch for one of those “free lunch” prizes, it takes me a long time to come up with people I’d be willing to hang out with. For me a party is about seven people sitting around, playing a game, or watching a film while eating. About three hours and I’m wiped for the day. (Right now, there are extroverts staring at this post in horror.)
But that doesn’t work in today’s business world. In fact, it doesn’t work in the online world. When everything you say can reach hundreds – if not thousands – you have to think about what that really means. Every post you make, every tweet you send out, and every podcast you publish means something. And the internet doesn’t forget. While the online world seems to run from moment to moment, it has the most robust memory ever created. Things you did five years ago can affect you today.
And this is not a bad thing.
Communities are built on-line over years, not hours. You don’t have to immediately reach thousands – you start with ten. Then it grows to fifteen or twenty. Then it grows from there. Over the weeks and months, every piece of content that gets added develops a clearer picture of who and what you are.
Right now, we’re trying to develop that community consciously. We’re talking to authors. We’re talking to readers. We’re talking to other bloggers. We’re trying to figure out how to reach people and how to connect them to each other.
We’re also slightly freaked out about how to do that when it goes against our natural behaviors of being quiet and sitting in the corner.
Granted, in the future, we hope that it will lead to a robust business and a group of authors and readers who are connected and happy. We want to change the world. We want it to be a place where business, art, and charity can all exist together and help each other. The press gives to charity with every purchase of a book. Money flows towards the authors and the press. And books and magazines flow rapidly toward the readers.
Start a conversation in the comments.
Tell me how you learned to reach out.
Give me tips on making content more appealing.