Community engagement and involvement is so important and this week I have been reminded how community is possible – even online. It might seem to some that do not live in my “virtual world” that there cannot be a sense of community and friendship when others do not know each other face to face. I could not disagree more. Community is about trust and relationships and these relationships develop when there is honesty, helpful dialogue, supporting words, encouraging suggestions, motivating ideas and transparency. I believe that some online are not honest but in my day to day life I see dishonest people and through and through these people are exposed and the lies come out and the cloaks disappear. There are many great examples of successful online communities that I participate in and feel comfortable being myself and sharing stories, advice and trusting the moderators, developers and community members.
This week when there were incidents with spammers at the Trying To Be Greener and http://overcoffee822.blogspot.com/both who contribute regularly and help to keep the Green and Clean Mom Community Clean and free of Spam and Solicitation. It still amazes me how many people do not understand the way the online socializing works. It is the same as real life – people do not want to be attacked with fake friendships, false advertising and promises. They want things to be transparent and real and that means talking, listening, interacting and adding value to your community. Whether this community be Twitter or Facebook you have to add value and substance or people could care less what you say.I was again reminded of what trust I have in the members that reported this to me. Kirstin from
I love what I call my “virtual world” and after BlogHer 09’in Chicago and meeting others based on just our online identities I can certainly tell you that nobody fooled me and everyone was who they appeared to be online and in Real Life they were even better than expected. Genuine, honest and fun to be with! Having people approach me and know who I was and visa versa was exciting because I read about others and their daily lives but I cannot forget that others read about me as well. Even locally this is impacting me and taking me by surprise. The other day at the park someone approached me calling me “Green and Clean Mom” and that took me by surprise. Someone locally knows who I am and calls me something other than Sommer, Mrs. Poquette, mom, or Miss Sommer (past preschoolers and parents)? It was fun to be recognized this way but it also alerted me to the something that I’ve become more keenly aware of – my influence and yes being held to a standard I was not prepared for or that I ask for. I’ll write about this tomorrow so come back for more on my nightmares of some expose and tabloid and the fear my room would be invaded at BlogHer 09′ and find my sister drinking bottled water!
Until tomorrow, check out thebecause there’s something special that happens there. It’s been around for awhile and the members are loyal. Currently the discussions are on home schooling and helping your children learn about going green; do you have any suggestions? There’s also an excellent post on plastic bags and the recipe for Zucchini bread sound delicious!