A couple of years ago, I tried to start a local Meetup (on Meetup.com, of course) to connect creative business owners (part-time/full-time/freelance) with enthusiastic learners in my little part of the world. The idea was to have these creative folks come in and share a bit of knowledge for people who were interesting in learning new things or discovering new interests. There were some interested in design, some interested in photography and some (like me) interested in connecting with creative like minds in my area – in essence, I was looking for my tribe and trying to build a local community.
Looking back, I think the best idea would’ve been to separate the two goals. While it’s possible to do both, I believe the criteria of being both tribal and local was limiting. What I’ve learned is that my tribe (those who are multi-faceted/multimedia creatives, believe in crowdsourcing/authenticity/sharing, and use social networks freely), is awfully spread out and I find my creative alignment spanning not only over miles, but bytes (aka: the internet).
My local community is right outside my door. And it looks so different in comparison to my social network. It’s not as diverse, it’s semi-rural and the lack of creative social interaction opportunities (ex: retail, dining [the Starbucks closed it’s doors last year], activities) limits connection.
So what are the next steps? 1) Start fully fleshing out my fellow tribes-people and continue to participate in the conversation and collaboration. 2) Start building the social interaction opportunities that I *know* my community needs. If I know the issues that hamper it, surely there is someone else here that has recognized those issues as well.
Just some thoughts. If you have any ideas, please point me in that direction!
Thanks for reading.