What a Flourishing Online Tribe Looks Like

It is Friday night at the Marriott Marquis San Francisco and I step into the elevator headed to The View Lounge to join the first-ever Blab community meetup, Blab by the Bay. Thanks to fellow blabber Tyler Anderson’s initiative, a opportunity was created to meet folks we’d met online, IRL.

The view was stunning. But nothing compared to camaraderie I saw.

Funny, just last week I hosted a #twubchat about what flourishing online communities look like, based on my observations of long-running Twitterchats. I saw things that indicate thriving human connections. A healthy tribe.

Indicators of Flourishing

Face-to-Face Engagement

Like Blab’s Community Manager Brittany noted:

“I’ve never been at a conference or a meetup that had so many people just talking. Phones away.”

There was a palpable giddiness in the room as people introduced themselves by username. Memories of shared blabs brought nods of agreement. You had a sense that these people genuinely liked each other.

Ownership

The livestreaming platform of Blab brought this community together, but Blab in the Bay was spontaneously created by an enterprising community member, Tyler Anderson.

In a thriving community, members take ownership. They make things happen for the good of the group without asking for permission from corporate. There is coordination, of course, but the corporate entity trusts its community to want good things.

Freedom

In a healthy tribe, members own the experience and participate, serve and bless each other with their gifts. There is a sense of freedom to be who you are, give what you can, share your giftedness. The culture is one of giving, not taking.

Not everyone in the community has the same gifts. There are the quiet observers, the loud out fronts, the comics, the natural hosts, the artists. There is space in a flourishing community to be who you are.

Generosity

At this meetup, the community members continued the connecting, collaborating and giving that characterizes the Blab folk.

Rather than using each other to build our own influence or audience, there was an authentic desire for the others’ success.

It is refreshing to find an online community where human kindness and social civility usurps platform-building.

Gotta say, good job to the folks at Blab for creating a culture where community engagement, ownership, freedom and generosity are not simply slogans, but are modeled by team members and blabbers alike.

For the blabs of that night:

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