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Posts tagged ‘community network’

An Introduction to OurPangea Part 3 of 4

Where Want To See The World Go

city globe villa vista panoramaWe started our story with dream to unite the world. The values we are striving to empower users with on OurPangea—community, collaboration, belonging, and ultimately a shared human identity—are building blocks that, when combined we believe will create more meaningful relationships and bring us closer to unity. OurPangea strives to create something that can transcend our online and offline worlds and be a harmonious bridge between them.

We know that a collaborative approach to problem solving—one that involves sharing different perspectives and strategies—often results in a better outcome than from one person with a single perspective and strategy.  We know that our community is everywhere.  We have great ideas that mesh well with the great ideas of others. But without access to or knowledge of those people and ideas, our abilities are limited.

As a human planet, we need a better way to exercise our freedom of expression. And there is no better tool to facilitate that than the Internet. It is a natural drive to be curious about the populations, cultures, and communities around our world.  But looking at unfamiliar cultures from afar doesn’t actually help us understand what it’s like to be within that community.  It’s important to have a better way to use our ability to express our perspectives to help us and others see what it is like to be a member of a different community. Social networks have already made the world smaller. We want to finally have a network to bring humans closer together.

When we have a tool that can help connect people with the understanding that together they can be great and allow us to gain outside perspectives of different cultures and communities we will be taking a step towards realizing the Internet’s true potential and beginning to harness the power of a collective, connected humanity.

In our first article this week, I wrote “Social networking has given us a way to share our lives with our friends and family from anywhere in the world.” We imagine a world where that is taken further.  We want that statement to read “Community Networking has given us a way to live our lives with anyone, anywhere.”

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An Introduction to OurPangea Part 2 of 4

What OurPangea Is Doing

panorama city globe villaConnection is great.  No one wants to be isolated. Through connection social networks have comforted us all against the idea that we’re alone in the world. However, being connected online doesn’t necessarily translate into a sense of connectedness. This connection doesn’t mean “having access to everyone in my network,” “interacting in a meaningful way,” or even “sharing with everyone.” Unfortunately, connection as utilized on social networks is all about numbers.  It’s a quantifiable measure of how many people you are “connected” to. There’s no way to define being connected via social networks besides the word connection.

OurPangea is introducing a new, community-centric approach to networking to make our connections more quality based by answering the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ behind our online connections. That is, how are we connected to these people and why is that important to us? OurPangea is making our connections more relevant to all of us by framing them around the interests we have and the locations of our groups and communities.

In the past weeks we have pointed out a number of disagreements with social networking, mainly:

  • Social networking is passive, which means it is not built to facilitate creating relationships outside of our existing circles (reactive networking model).
  • Relationships and connections are oversimplified and one-dimensional, which is not a true representation of how we interact with the people in our lives.
  • Popular social networking sites are beginning to value company growth and profitability over user-experience leading to a decrease in on-site engagement and an overall worse experience.

Because of this, we are collectively realizing that connection itself can only take us so far, and there’s no greater demonstration of this than the fact Facebook is larger and can connect more people than anything in history but that hasn’t made it better. In fact, people seem more willing than ever to leave the social networking site. So if connection doesn’t make our online experience better, what will?  And how do we get there? If today’s social networks connect us, the next step is gaining a sense of connectedness and community from our networks.

So we’re building a Community Network.  This type of network is proactive to make creating new relationships and engaging old ones easy.  It uses semantic connections for a better way to discover people and groups and remind us why those relationships are important to us.  And it will unite the world.

How? If social networking has connected us, then Community Networking will help us understand how we are connected to each other and why that connection is important.  It does this by organizing users by their location and their interests.  People will not only see how their existing relationships are valuable, but also be able to envision what relationships could be valuable that are outside of their networks.  So our networks will start to grow along with the benefits we bring, which will spread from person to person and community to community.

The Community Network is more accurate of the complexities of our real life relationships and groups and it’s designed to be a more fulfilling online representation of those interactions. In short, a Community Network is built to create a sense of community and belonging by enabling us to more easily discover, collaborate with, and engage the people and groups around us.

The Power of a Community Network

One of the most common responses we come across when trying to introduce someone to OurPangea.com is the confusion and automatic association with current social networks.  There’s always the inevitable, “Oh, so it’s like [insert social network here].”  In truth, there are a lot of similarities between social networking and Community Networking, but they are not one and the same.  Community Networking is the next step of online networks – taking the proven tools and structure of social networks and combining that with additional networking models, optimizing it for community use.

OurPangea replicates the complex structure of our real-life relationships and therefore lets you interact with your group in a more true-to-life way.  The Community Network not only gives you, the individual user, the ability to define yourself online and connect with other users, it gives this ability to entire communities as well. However – and this distinction is important – it’s not about segmenting the different circles in your network, it‘s about defining the different networks you have, finding where they overlap, and discovering new people and things you’ll love. It creates a living snapshot of our collective cultures to create a window for cross-community transparency, understanding, and collaboration.

When you become a member of OurPangea, you’ll be associated with your location based on the zip code or city you enter on registration.  From there you can find all the various communities, groups, and activities that are around you.  For example, if you’re looking to volunteer in a shelter but don’t have the time to scour the entire Internet to find all of the opportunities in the community, OurPangea makes it easy to find out about all the different groups you can join that are nearby – or in a different location if that is what you want.  If what you’re looking for isn’t on OurPangea, go ahead and create a new group!

So how are groups and communities different from other sites?  OurPangea is specifically designed for communities and groups.  What we mean by this is the quality of on-site engagement and value gained from OurPangea doesn’t decline after you leave the individual-user level. Group tools aren’t a band-aid meant to complement the individuals using the site, this is an effective and dedicated tool that makes group the focus and promotes strong collaboration to improve your group and community experience for yourself and all members.

Within your groups you can do more than just send mass-messages and create events; you can also create projects, assign tasks, and send custom communication to specific group segments – even giving you the ability to hold elections online for a seamless transfer of leadership.

OurPangea is grounded in the notion that we are all visionaries, and together there is no limit to what we can do.  Come together with the rest of your community and see what’s possible.

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