Put down the Kool-Aid. You’re embarrassing yourself.
Community is big right now, isn’t it. It seems everywhere you turn, there is a new ‘community’ popping up. I bet you’re in a few. Hell, you probably read this blog because you know me from one. I belong to a few. I’ve been a member of a few in the past that I no longer affiliate with, and I’m sure there are a few down the road that I’ll join.
There is nothing wrong with that. But here’s the thing about community. If you aren’t careful, you stop remembering why you are there, and just begin to listen to whatever the leader says. No more thinking, no more analysis. Just following. Blind.
There was a reason you joined in the first place. Maybe you liked the topic. Or perhaps the people involved. You read and enjoyed the content, shared it with your friends and followers on places like Twitter and Facebook. You added the RSS, were eager to press that retweet button when a new post came out. It was exciting. You were a part of something good.
Then something happened. There were a lot of new people that don’t share the views you thought the community held. What used to be a fresh perspective was becoming stale. Repetitive. Recycled. But the leader still had that ‘something’ you liked in the beginning. So you continue to read, comment, and share. You’re still participating. You’re invested. And just like a junkie wishing to get the feeling back from that first time, you keep on jamming that needle in, hoping that perhaps, this time it’ll be better.
For all the talk about how Gen-Y is independent, self-willed, etc we sure as hell follow a lot. We do something because other people are doing it. You want to get on-board in the beginning. Be a thought leader amongst your online crew. Pride and ego are a sonofabitch, isn’t it?
It’s time to stop. Stop following. Quit ignoring the signs. Question your leaders. ALL of them. If it’s a shitty post, say so. If the leader is wrong, make sure you share that just as loud as you did with the good stuff. If they’re a fraud, SCREAM IT. Better to be a loud asshole who’s right than a quiet one.
Remember, some people may be following you the same way you are to others. If you don’t say something, you’re just as bad.