How do Relationships Impact Community?

China boast

Relationships are important. In socio-economic terms, they build social capital, which, generally speaking, builds great positive social change and fosters economic stability and growth. In an online community, relationships are critical to the evolution and success of the community. They are the key ingredient to collaboration and innovation. These things evolve from a group of people interacting in “flow“, a mental state of intense, creative, and purposeful focus. [The term “flow” was coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 60’s and has grown into a full-fledged Positive Psychology movement. Read Csikszentmihalyi’s paper on flow here.]

To get to that state, there must be loyalty and trust among group members, and their must be a sense of shared purpose and vision.

In an online community, where interactions are virtual, and everyone is geographically displaced or isolated, how does that sense of trust and loyalty develop? (more…)