Attached is a video clip of Salim Ali of LoYakk, discussing the development of the online community.
One of the major points he makes are that communities are not going away.
But he also points out that online communities still have some way to go to match real life communities.
How Real Life Communities Work
In real life, Salim says, communities are essential to human happiness, pervasive in that they continue to spring up and flourish even in hostile circumstances, and deliver value in that they deliver employment opportunities.
Online communities can be quite good at the first, ok on the second depending on leadership, but not usually that effective in generating economic activity.
Salim explains that community members roughly follow the 90:9:1 ratio. The majority are passive, a few are more active, and a very small number are highly active, or vocal, as Salim describes it.
How Does Mobile Community Differ ?
Salim has had significant experience “engaging” mobile communities, even before LoYakk, and so has begun to understand the differences between online and real life.
Not quite using his words per se, we can look at community relationships as being forged for “a reason”, “a season” or for life, mindful that human beings are complex, and we belong to multiple communities in different ways, without ever consciously realising this so naturally do we do it.
Flash mobile communities coming together at events can, in Salim’s terms, be “temporal” at a specific location for a short duration of time, be forged for a specific reason, the “context” of the event, with attendance driven by underlying audience interest, often a lifelong or “anchor” passion.
And there we have season, reason and life all together.
Benefits & Drawbacks
So here we have audiences that are firing on all three cylinders: they’ve bought the temporal, liked the context and are often driven by underlying life passions. These are highly engaged audiences, rather more likely to want to forge relationships, support causes, and look for and engage in economic activity.
Salim knows though that such communities are volatile, noisy and messy, hard to make sense of, even more so online than in real life.
It was understanding this environment that drove Salim to found LoYakk, looking to reduce eg event “noise” levels and enable event attendees to build “signal” relationships and drive engagement levels higher.
The LoYakk service is what he calls “Mobile Community on Demand” (MCoD)
Does MCoD Mean We Can Drive Economic Growth ?
So what can we conclude?
Communities aren’t going away, and we are getting ever better at improving signal to noise ratio, which we know is essential on the ever-noisier internet.
Surely this can only be good for improving economic activity levels available to us, through connecting online and supporting the oft-talked about but still elusive knowledge economy.
Time will tell, and as ever we depend on our explorers and risk takers to forge new paths and understandings. But this observer believes there is surely some enhanced potential there for higher engagement levels, and therefore enhanced possibility for economic activity among individuals who are geared for growth.
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