Home for my rants, raves and general sharing of 'insytes'. Some of you will enjoy this gathering of text - others will wonder how I tricked them into giving me a Blogger's license...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Building a community we can be proud of

One of the interesting bits I noticed at WoolfCamp was the immediate bonding that happened within the group. I was not more than five minutes through Grace's front door before I felt the overwhelming sense of community, and to this day, posts continue to happen to the WoolfCamp blog as my fellow campers are emailing each other for tips while others offer additional insights to ensure we all continue to grow both spiritually and professionally.

I want to know what the secret sauce with WoolfCamp is as this is exactly what I would hope to see happen with the BrainJams community. I know something like this cannot be forced as a community usually needs to be nurtured and will grow organically when they are ready, but darn it - the Type A'er in me wants it now.

I have thought many times of the different groups and how they respond to each other overall, trying to dissect the phenomenon of the likes of WoolfCamp. It makes me wonder if it was due to the fact that WoolfCamp was predominately women? Note: sorry men in blogging land, I am not here to diss you, but we all have our strengths and women get the checkmark in this 'bonding' column for sure. Well, except for my consort - who is more caring and nurturing than many women I know. Though he is, per Miss Grace herself, a 'male lesbian' so I don't think he really counts.

Anyways, I digress...so the majority in this camp were women. They felt secure. Open. Able to communicate with one another. They belonged. There was a non-verbal 'permission to participate' once you walked in the door. I don't know how I sensed it, but I did. I am sure this is a major part of it, but how do you replicate it within a mixed crowd? Can you?

I also find that 98% of the women at WoolfCamp were bloggers and were already used to exposing themselves in public (some more than others -
ahem Liz and Debbie - ha!) and sharing their life experiences with others as they happen. They were willing to speak openly right then and there, and their fellow WoolfCampers were there to support, nuture and help you on your way. I think this fed into the feeling of comfort and the overwhelming desire to contribute to the WoolfCamp blog which definitely sets this camp apart from the others.

So does it really just boil down to women -vs- men? Bloggers -vs- non? I don't know, but I think I need to figure it out as a facilitator of unconferences who wishes to build a community. The BrainJams community. I want to see people live blogging during the events, and I want to keep the conversations going online afterwards.

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