Blah Blah Blah image by GeraltThere was a time when the majority of what I saw online was more conversation and less self-promotion. I miss those days.

I belong to groups where the conversation is almost non-existent. Folks pop in to promote their most recent sponsored blog post, podcast episode or video creation in order to ask for likes and shares or to subtly market themselves through a question masked as a request for group help. It’s exhausting.

Where is the conversation?

Speech BubbleWhere are the spaces where smart and innovative folks can talk about ideas, overcoming challenges, share the ins and outs of what they do in a true learn, share, grow model?

Authenticity, Transparency, and Attribution

I come from the early days of social, podcasting, video. When only a few geeky folks were in the space. These were the days of user-generated conferences aka “camps” and community building. It. Was. Glorious.

While I am thrilled that this geeky thing which was on the fringe of society has been adopted by the world. I do miss the community aspect of it all. I know things change. Truly I do. We early adopters helped to fuel the uses of these tools and platforms so that they could become mainstream. Of course, we’re happy everyone else is on board. However, now that social media/podcasting/online video (which at one time was called new media) is an industry, and no longer a grassroots community effort, it seems the promo and influencer model has taken over. People have to make money. I know I do. But, does everything have to be about promo? megaphone marketing image by Geralt

New groups are popping up all the time. I join some in hopes they will be a community based on conversation. Instead, it’s more of the same. Post after post after post of people only posting in these groups to get likes and shares for their content. Where are they when they don’t have something to promote? Please don’t misunderstand me here, there certainly needs to be a place to do these types of things.  I know I certainly need places to share projects, posts, or client events that are happening. But is that all there is?

Frustration and Fatigue

You may be thinking, “Hey Jennifer, if you want a group like that then why don’t you create it?” I have. Several as a matter of fact and it was great. The challenge? I have been running groups since 2005 and I’m at the stage where I’d like to just be in a group without the time commitment and responsibility of running it.

My business is booming. I work with great clients on projects that I’m totally jazzed about and life is truly wonderful. What’s missing then? A community where I can brainstorm, idea share, problem solve and just be at ease with one another without worrying about our influencer, follower count, or sponsored ad posts. In other words, a place where I can let my hair down and talk shop or not.

What’s Next?

Rock Art Craft Holding Hands Team by WokandapixI guess what I’m looking for is Thought Leader Community. What is that? In my mind, it is a trusted space where honest helpful conversation happens. Where being authentic and transparent are treasured. A community that embraces the concept of “learn, share, grow” in its truest form. Does it exist? I sure hope so.

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