The way to create a sense of community is not to connect people. Connecting people is only the first step. Beyond connecting people is bringing them together. The whole can be greater than the parts.
So, when we look at social networks we see that they only connect us. Connection alone fails to provide cohesion. It may have the appearance of a cohesive structure, but it is ultimately nothing more than a list. What we need to do is provide a greater sense of belonging and community from the list. We need to bring people together, not just collect them.
The Internet is a collection of things and people linked together. What we need to do is transform these lists into something greater. We need to organize it. All of the ideas, interests, and people need to come together, not as a list, but as a community.
From a community we can start to build something a list cannot. A list is static, a community is dynamic. With a dynamic community we can start to encourage far more than a list ever could. We don’t need more information, we need to be able to do something with it. By re-organizing our social networks into something more than a list we will start to unlock the potential of a community structure. We will be able to meet far more people, collaborate on many more ideas, and do it all faster and with less work.
The age of collection will give way to the era of collaboration and it will happen soon. We will still need to collect things, but far more importantly, we need to be able to do something with the things we collect. We need to nurture and explore our relationships, we need to share the movies we watch, and we need to share the ideas that mean something to us. What we have, we should share.
In the era of collaboration we will see an entirely different side of humanity. Up until now we have lived with restraint. In this new era, we will not. This is not to say we will not have government, we always will and we will always need it. What we will gain that we do not have now is free access to the world’s information. We won’t be limited to the culture around us, we will have all of them. We will not be fed information, we will explore it. We’re entering an era where freedom is defined like never before. We will have true freedom of expression.
OurPangea is being built to bring this freedom to everyone. We need a better way to think about the world around us. We need to see what’s there, and only then will we really start to see what’s possible.
Connection was the start. Collaboration is the end. And freedom is the goal.