Hello, I am Takeshi, CEO and speaker of su-re.co
At an online event over the weekend, we discuss building online communities. Among the questions asked by the participants, the agenda item, which I reflected on several times, was "What is a community lost a long time?".
I think everyone has a different definition of "community". In my opinion, there are three major types of communities: 1) su-re.community that I do with TigerMov in Japan as a kind of education business with a defined infrastructure from the beginning, 2) LIP (Living in Peace) NGO, of which I am a founding member. The community has spontaneously emerged from the study groups of young people, and 3) one that exists with loose connections, without even a clear organisational name.
The third is something like a village neighbourhood association, which is not a formal governmental organization but will continue as long as people exist. This value of such a community is existence. As long as the community exists, it has meaning.
I have been involved in the formation of both first and second types of communities, I've given my opinion: the first one with infrastructure may not continue unless there is a religious guru of sorts. The second, a spontaneous community, can survive if there is some clear purpose of existence shared within the community.
A community just for the sake of learning skills is not going to last long in terms of getting the same people to continue to participate. There is a box called a community, but the participants will be keep changing over and over again.
What I realised while I was talking was that setting up a community needs a lot of energy. Therefore, the memories that remain are very clear and the relationships amongst founder members are strong. So even if the community could not continue to operate, the connections as individual relationships would still be there among them. And this is the best thing about starting a community. A community is ultimately a connection amongst people, so this may be one of the most enduring behind-the-scenes communities.