Communities are popular. Everyone wants to create one. Everyone wants to be part of a vibrant and impactful community. But you need to play your part. You can not join a community and expect it to be this wonderful, living, breathing thing which elevates you into new personal and professional heights.
Communities provide 3 types of values:
Social value: Communities are a place to be human. Talk with others, welcome newcomers, make jokes, show emotions. Social value make others feel safe to contribute by creating a shared emotional environment. Social value is created in a community through the exchange of social content.
Intellectual value: Communities help others develop. This can be personal development or professional development. It's about exchanging knowledge, giving each other feedback, recommending tools and techniques. Intellectual value is created in a community through the exchange of knowledge.
Cultural value: Communities have norms and acceptable behavior. These spell out how to talk with others and how to behave in the community. These explain the dos and don’ts of a community. Communities are often self-governed. Cultural value is created in a community through the exchange of behavioral norms.
Of these three types of value exchanges that are happening in communities, intellectual value often creates the most back-and-forth between members. This type of reciprocal interaction leads to stronger relationships. This is where communities provide value. But you can't have intellectual value without social and cultural value.
If you are a member of a community, what value do you create?
Read more: Chung, T., Kim, K., & Shin, E. (2021). Together we create value: A study of a crowdsourcing community. Internet Research, 31(3), 911–930.