Wednesday, September 3, 2014

reading response // "Sense of Community"

In general I found the reading to be pretty interesting because I've never known or really thought about everything that goes into a functioning community. This article also helped me make more sense of how things work in advertising and my time at VML. We focused on most of these core areas (membership, influence, integration and fulfillment of needs) in creative briefs. The one that was most important was influence, which makes sense for advertising - you want to influence people to start using specific products and services. But thinking of influencers on small community scale seems to change, to more about listening, rather tan pushing ideas. 

When it comes to shared emotional connection I see that as one of the biggest factors for a community. As humans we are naturally emotional beings, so it makes sense that we make connection to others through emotions and shared histories.

Integration and fulfillment of needs seems to be part of the basic structure of living, and it makes sense to work as a team to streamline the process of getting what you need. I tend to think of mutualism in science (like how bees need flowers to make honey, and flowers need bees to pollinate) and how communities seem to often meet each others needs to strengthen their bond.

Do these elements exist in current practices designing for participatory culture? Where?

One example I can think several of these ideas working is social media. 

I thought how this quote to be particularly insightful.
"One such directing concept is shared values. Our culture and our families teach
each of us a set of personal values, which indicate our emotional and intellectual needs
and the order in which we attend to them. When people who share values come together,
they find that they have similar needs, priorities, and goals, thus fostering the belief
that in joining together they might be better able to satisfy these needs and obtain the
reinforcement they seek."

So when it comes to social media people are actively seeking out, and relating to things that are within their values. I doubt social media fosters that much of people joining together, but it definitely has a lot to do with influence. I think people feel influential already on social media because its a space where you are free to try and influence others, and as the article states people prefer communities where they can be influential. Social media also makes it easy  to tap into already existing communities. I'd say social media can probably also foster false feelings on all of these ideas too. Just because you can tap into a community on social media may not necessarily mean that you are already a part of it. A user might also feel very influential because they are sharing their thoughts and opinons all the time, but they have no perspective of how much it is being seen, and others are perceiving this because of the lack of face to face interaction.

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