Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection

Community: “Big C or “little c” #SMWF

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Tomorrow I attend the SMWF – The Social Media World Forum – a big label for an event held in a former London brewery. What real and authentic ale of inspiration will I be imbibing?

I’m on a panel and and moderating a discussion about community – and the tensions should be interesting.

Community is all the rage right now – a metaphor for our social connected-ness, a self-selected cluster of purpose and belief – or a platform for knowledge exchange and ideation. Ive chewed the fat on how community is the “Big C” – the connected gravity that binds us – or ‘small c’ as contrived set of tech tools which is less than the sum of the parts without a collective meaning.

The session is being framed by bullets:

Key factors in facilitating a healthy, mature and productive online community

  • How can social media campaigns and a digital workplace help drive your social business forward
  • What is means to create “engaging content” and how it allows you to facilitate and create active communities
  • Do’s and don’ts to create a healthy and vibrant online community
  • Growing  your online community by creating relationships with existing members


Its interesting – or an absolute nonsense – to frame a community in terms of a campaign. Social Media is a fabric, Social networks are the connection and community is the shared intent – to stick them in a drinks shaker and smash them at one becomes a blurred and curdled cocktail. Social business is an over-archig theme and a campaign is nothing more that a adrenaline shot (I’m being gentle here – I have other more colorful euphemisms to choose from).

Hey, but I don’t mind. Confused is fine.


Creating engaging content is an interesting idea. It has me thinking of kittens stuck in flower vases. Content is something you create  – but it only becomes engaging when you release it and permit others to join in. And who cares about engaging if it isn’t business aligned and purposeful. Content is small ‘c’ – context is really king.


Do’s and Don’ts to create a vibrant community is something I think a lot about – but also measure. I see the data on when, where and how things tick. I see the whites of the eyes of the people who create the climate for these things to happen – and I also sadly share the stale air of the lost and withering who just don’t have the vision and beliefs to pull it off. Im really interested to hear peoples views. I like the word vibrant – it works for me. But will the answers be people, process or technology focused? (I plump for People every time)


Growing through relationships. Now, I like this and I work with and advise people on how to do it. Not just pulling people together to bond – but enlisting them to help in the success. They don’t turn up to sit in a deep, velour armchair and watch community play out like a classic movie (lets think of the gentle humour of when Harry met Sally – you pick a scene…) – people turn up to be part of the show, shape the plot, run multiple story-lines and – BOUNCE – shape this game!


There are some good panelists – lets look to bag some good stories.

Let’s be a good moderator – let’s not make the ‘Big C’ a ‘Cheeky’ Jimmy.

Let’s behave 😉


Author: jameslramsay

Practice director at the ShelfLife project - digital by day, campfire by night

One thought on “Community: “Big C or “little c” #SMWF

  1. Like this ‘brain dump’ – maybe you’ve been watching too much Dexter!

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