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Posts tagged ‘Austin’

Fraternities As Community Security

Community is an ambiguous word. It can be big (think the East Coast community) or small (the community of left handed Austin baristas). A community could be a collection of like-minded individuals, or a large group of individuals that don’t know each other (once again, think New York City).

What a community can do is provide us with security. Whether big or small, we take comfort in knowing that at the end of the day, someone in our community will be there for us.

fraternity community sesrvice construction working together

There are examples of communities all over the world, that are small or large, and that provide the same security. For many 20-something Americans, one particular community that comes to mind is the fraternities and sororities that encompass the college experience.

While often scrutinized, fraternities and sororities often represent the pinnacle in terms of the security provided by its members to one another. Stories of brothers and sisters banding together to help raise money for a fallen member, of fallen family member of one of their own are the things that don’t show up in campus or national headlines.

Some enjoy their fraternity experience so much they’ve compared living in the house to “living with 30 of your best friends,” as you spend breakfast, lunch, dinner, formals, parties, meetings, and casual Saturdays sitting around with your brothers, talking about everything from women, to sports, to the future. You see people’s highest highs (both literally and metaphorically) and lowest lows, and get to know your brothers (or sisters) in a way that maybe their high school friends did not.

What else within fraternities causes this bond to form? The pledge process. The fact that, for eight weeks, you, along with 30 or so other guys or girls are subject to certain tasks designed not only to tire you out, but also to grow you, and bond you together. There is no greater bonding experience than one where a small sampling of people take some sort of adversity and manage grow as a unit while battling that hardship. It’s those types of situations that help a group of random guys become best friends, and come to their fellow pledge brother’s aide in any instance.

The headlines paint one picture. But actually being a member of the Greek community, and reaping the benefits paints another, one of strength, friendship, and a security that is matched in very few other organizations.

The Rise of Cities

city coast sunset panorama ourpangea

A city, full of lights and history and splendor, often acts as the hub for life. Whether they are world-lifting megalopolises such as the mighty Chicago, or deeply-rooted hyperlocal sanctums like OurPangea’s very own Austin, cities provide the essential focus for living in our modern age. We live, learn, work, play, and create our future in these whirlwinds of activity and humanity. They form the basis of tightly-knit communities and are the outgrowth of centuries of human progress since time immemorial. Young people flock to cities to begin their adult lives, and return their contributions to the rest of society.

America’s growth as a nation can be directly tied to its cities. According to the 1790 census, 95 percent of the people lived in the countryside, and most of the rest were in small villages. The mid-1800s brought rapid growth for industry and ushered in the era of modern cities dotting the Northeastern seaboard, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that urban populations outnumbered rural ones. These days almost all Americans live in cities from Helena to Houston, Portland to Providence, San Francisco to San Angelo, scattered all across the country.

Cities foster the connections of neighborhoods and districts both in cities of millions or a few hundred, creating a sense of community broader than that of family and deeper than that of nation. People come together to define the city’s community with diversity and familiarity in ways that other interactions can never quite compare to.

This is why OurPangea’s goal is to provide a comprehensive community network for a city. We want to take advantage of the community archetype that a city offers and be able to use it to connect people to themselves and each other in ways that have never been done before online. We will create our global city and our local city together, bringing youth and experience, novelty and tradition, and collaboration together to create a hub for life like the cities we love.

Hittin’ The Streets

survey graffiti community insight participation

OurPangea has been busy over the last few weeks! We have begun a full-scale mobilization on the streets of southwest Austin and beyond, surveying the world about OurPangea. The reaction we have gotten from people of all shapes and sizes has been enlightening and encouraging as we continue our mission to help bring the world together. Consistently, we have seen trends in the answers to our questions that only help to further our desire to get OurPangea up and running. We’ve found that the best way to get the conversation going about community is to merely ask about it. What does community mean to you? Is it important to feel connected to your communities? Do you wish your communities were as connected online as they are offline?

These questions, and others, have helped spark the flame in communities. The following responses to these questions are from you, and people like you. These are the people who want to see online communities realize their full potential, and we are working to provide this dream for all to come.

“Community online is more about the individual and less about community as a whole. There are a lot of websites that some communities have but even then a lot of them aren’t trying to bring the community together.” 21 year old F

“Community is often disproportionately driven by advertising for nightlife, etc. It should have more representation of activist groups, citizen groups, etc.” 19 year old M 

“Community is really not very represented online. Everyone connects to things objectively as it pertains to themselves and only really interact with other people to the capacity which they either feel obliged or have something to gain. It’s very easy to stay mostly disconnected to groups except for to the extent you feel necessary.” 25 year old M

“Community online appears to be more exclusive, and status depends more on who you know, instead of who you are.” 24 year old F

Everywhere we look, more and more people have expressed to us their ideas and opinions on communities – how to improve them, how to organize them, what they mean. We are here to bring those ideas – your ideas – to life. The input of average people is a more invaluable resource than any other, because it helps us tap into the true pulse of the greatest community in the world: the human race.

Pre-Launch Rollout: Want to Know More About Us? You Can at

Thanks again for another exciting week!  Check in next week for further developments of our map of the social networking landscape.

We’re coming even closer to OurPangea and to realizing the ability of the world to be connected and communicating in harmony! So that means it’s time for the next phase of our pre-launch rollout.  You can not only sign-up for weekly updates, if you go to now you can also learn a little bit about our team and the motivations behind OurPangea.

ourpangea colors design our community

And if you haven’t already, remember to sign up For OurPangea updates to get the inside scoop on what we’re doing in Austin and everything that is happening each week.

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