Posted on Monday, November 3, 2014 by Michael
The good folks at FeverBee are channeling Saul Alinsky today…
If you try to build a community for a group of people (especially within an existing boundary i.e. employees), they tend to react the same way.
First, they’re skeptical.
They don’t know you. They don’t have time for the community. They’re worried that the community will change a status quo that benefits them… You must remain enthusiastic and keep pushing. You must work with the rare believers in your vision, not those against it.
Second, they’re incredulous.
They can’t believe it’s succeeding. Why are people going along with this? Are they crazy? They set an increasingly angry tone. You must not react/respond to them… Be open to any questions they have. Don’t let them provoke a negative reaction that will undermine your efforts.
Third, they accept it.
They’re members. This is quite sudden. Once they realize they’re in danger of being left behind, they become members.
As we’ve opened up online Front Porch Forum communities for every locale in Vermont, we find many who welcome us gladly, some who are indifferent, and a few who follow Alinsky’s pattern above. But those few make a lot of noise and demand our attention. We remain open to input, concerns and fresh ideas… but we’ve also come to realize that the initial skepticism and incredulity will most likely be replaced with acceptance in a few weeks… and even blossom into vigorous use and championing of their local FPF to neighbors.
Posted in: Civic Engagement, Community Building, Community Management, Front Porch Forum, Knight Foundation, Local Online, MacArthur Fellows, Neighborhood, social capital, Social Networking, Stories, Vermont