"The Art of Community" ebook available for free

Community managers: on Thursday morning/day/evening I mentioned this excellent how-to book on setting up a community. It is available for free from the author’s website under a Creative Commons license: https://www.jonobacon.com/books/artofcommunity/

Check it out! Cheers MikeG


I bought the book based on your recommendation. Haven’t got into it yet, but looking forward to. Great to see a free version! Happy to buy it because this will increase the chance to actually read/finish it :slight_smile:


Sharing some highlights to help myself as well as others.

Chapter 1: Art of Community

  • Community is group of people coming together to share an ethos: the combined set of beliefs, customs, and sentiment that flows between like-minded people.
  • Why do thousands of community members around the world get together? One simple word: belonging.
  • A sense of belonging is what keeps people in communities. This belonging is the goal of
    community building. The hallmark of a strong community is when its members feel that
    they belong.

“Community is fundamentally an interdependent human system given form by the conversation it holds with itself and mechanisms behind that is stories!"

  • It is not merely the group that generates community, but the interactions within it. These interactions, and the feeling of belonging that they produce, generates a distinctive kind of economy: social economy.
  • Belonging is the measure of a strong social economy. This economy’s currency is not the
    money that you find in your wallet or down the back of your couch, but is social capital.
  • Social Economy Infrastructure i.e. community is merely a structure designed to deliver Opportunity.
  • Processes and the generation of social capital, which in turn generates belonging, needs to be effectively communicated, for within social economy, people are the product, trust and respect is the capital.
  • Economy is like a flowing river, and heart of this movement is Communication.

Stories can be in the form of Tales and Fables
Tales are told for entertainment value to share experiences and learn from each other.
Fables are stories designed to illustrate underlying message, to empower one with moral messages.

  • Imagination offers the mind a vision on how things could be. While viable path towards this future, builds a sense of Opportunity, with no viable path ahead we enter Fantasy. When people feel they can achieve a dream, it builds an incredible sense of liberation and a willingness to step up to the plate, driving commitment very quickly.
  • Community Manager or Leaders do is to Enable people. Heart of this enablement is Trust, which is a critical component they must have, by making themselves Accessible, Approachable and Sensitive.
  • Community Leader must be a Best Listener, avoid Ego trips, while Fame is a by-product, but ensure not to develop Sense of Entitlement. Always remember you are responsible to the team, not for the team. Develop practice through actions vs pushing theories. Lastly “Be Yourself” that’s always the secret sauce.
  • Individuals as community managers or leaders have two broad skills i.e. Personality and Strategic Traits.

Strategic traits are skills, perspectives, and abilities that help you to organize complex problems into logical boxes, develop action points and a plan, and implement those intentions in a controlled way.