This post was inspired by a random DM from @RepuTrack
As social media inculcates itself into the mainstream, it becomes obvious that the principles governing its successful use have indeed been around for years, echoing traditional models of engagement that have formed the basis of many a tried and true best practices for business, social relations and information aggregation.
photo sourced from Flickr via Mct-Enigma
But I rarely come across promoted evidence of the raw power of online social interaction, specifically in the way it yields tangible results for established online communities.
Now I don’t discount the fact that many social sites have ran successful campaigns by leveraging influence within their own respective ‘tribes’. So I’m shining the spotlight on this one example:
Thanks to a link referral by @RepuTrack, I was compelled to share the story of certain members of an online community (Collectors Society) who recently reached out within its tribal ranks to raise funds in honour of a fellow member (Nik) who suddenly passed away and has left a family behind. The link is a must-read as I won’t be citing specific references to this touching story here. Long and short of it? If I were to encapsulate it in a headline: Loss of valued tribe member (and his influence) fuels tribal convergence and call to action.
Leveraging native tools
What fascinates me with this story is how the fund raising process takes place: an auction process, which also serves as a central tool used by the community. Now that’s what I call true leverage. A tribe that uses tools, which typically benefit individual means, can equally turn around to transform and use the same tools towards a common altruistic goal.
What you give is what you get. In a matter of days following the initial arm that reached out, donations to help Nik’s family have reached well over $23,000. And that’s just monies from a single donation source! The last comment line on this thread sums up the profound impact of communal action: This place is more of a family than most families. I am so proud of all of you. That’s quite the statement. Moreover, it’s hardcore testament to how tightly-knit this community really is.
Faith as objective catalyst
I keep coming across many lessons offered on social engagement. At times I hear rumblings in the form of tweets that question whether or not we are over-using (or really *getting*) the term engage, engaging and engagement (via @Filterologist) Her point is well taken. Often these references are thrown around gatuitously that they risk being perceived as lightweight buzzwords.
But I think this story here begs to differ. Call it faith, communal spirit, tribal consensus, or just plain human compassion. It’s a visceral reality—a natural reflex in the form of an emotional response borne out of significant social engagement. And yet despite its subjective quality its purpose remains objective: to help, to contribute, to make a difference.
There is untold power within well nurtured communities. If you feel you’re part of one or aspire to help build one, ask yourself: will my call be heard if I ever need to reach out?