A Writer’s Community: Finding Centers and Edges on the Road to Common Ground

Posted on November 30, 2016 by



The Road to Common Ground: Must we follow the center line, or can we explore the edges too?

Most writer’s would acknowledge the importance of their words.  In today’s web-focused, media-rich  world, you can add pictures and videos to the list, and repackage it all as content.  But the issues of focus and priority remain:

Our words and our content are how we engage in the 21st centrury; it’s how we deliver our message, how our ideas come to life, ultimately finding ways to thrive.  Can a community built on shared ideas stay on a focused course?

No small stakes.  Navigating en masse is an age old dilemma. It’s a challenge of leaders and explorers alike.  The old African advice is telling:  If you want to travel far, go together. If you want to travel quickly, go alone.

Talented writers (and content creators, more specifically) have the unique ability to connect with readers to form a bond.  These readers run the gamut from other writers, to reviewers, to both avid and casual browsers, to consumers, potential buyers of your ideas, your products or services.  In short, it’s pretty much everyone out there.  The question for a writer buliding community becomes how to make those connections and how to make them last.

A strong and lasting community forms around some kind of common ground.  It could be a place, a time, an idea, or a common cause.  Online, it might be a hashtag, like #smchat. It’s no different for a writer, if we’re able to create an appealing, promising, differentiated common ground of our own.

We say community, but do we mean to say audience?

NO. OF COURSE NOT.  We mean to say community.  The notion of audience implies that dusty old “broadcast” model from PR and Advertising when radio, television and print media ruled supreme.  Back then, it was all we had.  And it trained us to talk at or about our potential customers and stakeholders, not to them.  Now, with social media, we have other options, but they are far too seldom used.  We are, as academics would tell us, stuck in our old paradigms.

Let’s examine the constraints, as we talk about what so many are missing:  the promise of a writer’s connected, lasting social community.

  • Q1. Viability of Common Ground. How do we find and/or seed shared ideas among an incredibly diverse stakeholder/reader group?
  • Q2. Creativity vs. Group Demands. Does the creative drive of a writer/developer fight with demands for common, standardized themes?
  • Q3. Social Relationships. What is the lifespan of a social relationship, and how do we build one that survives?
  • Q4. Edges and Crossover. Why does a writer need to pay attention to edges?
  • Q5. Communication and the Evolution of Message. Why is the content writer’s innovation advantage so strong?

This is the 4th edition of our #smchat #contentseries, and I hope you will take a few minutes to join us.  The conversation is fast and furious.  The more we share, the more we find to share.  Makes you want to come back.  And we have been.  At #smchat, we’ve been at this 7.5 years and we’re going strong.

See you WEDS 11/30 at 1pm EST.  And bring your ideas.  We might just hand you back some better ones.

Chris aka @sourcepov

Posted in: Community, Content