It sounds simple, and it is: to build a strong community, your members must be able to build strong relationships.
This means that they need a variety of fun and productive ways to connect with each other. Over time, these connections and interactions will add up to strong relationships.
I experienced this lesson firsthand this week, and here’s how it happened. For the past 7 years, I have been a member of an online community of dialogue facilitators. This community has gathered around an email discussion list for the past twenty years so it has quite a bit of history.
The email discussion list is quite active. When I shared this blog post about a fun dialogue experiment that I held this week, it resonated with a handful of the members very, very strongly. Two of the community members even said that they would replicate the experiment in different parts of the country. Other members of the community were supportive, but there was a noticeable difference between these two types of reactions.
When I took a step back and noticed who had responded so enthusiastically, I realized it was the same group of people that I meet with on a weekly basis for a live Skype video chat. Although the video chat is open to everyone, there are about ten regulars. Over time, we’ve gotten to know each other very well.
It is no coincidence that the relationships I’ve built during these video chats made it possible for my blog post to resonate with these folks. For members of that community with whom I’ve never met during one of those video chats, my blog post was just words. For people whom I’ve met through the video chats, they could connect with more of the emotion I shared in the blog post (curiosity and apprehension) and it had a bigger impact on them.
How this relates to QiqoChat
This is why we’ve made realtime audio and video events the centerpiece of QiqoChat. We believe that when people can connect live online, they can build relationships in a much deeper way than they can by simply replying to each other’s emails or comments in a forum.
We look forward to seeing all the ways our clients create space for their members to connect in meaningful ways, and we look forward to sharing many of those insights here on this blog.