One of the main components of a community is a sharing of ideas and opinions. This is important because it is the catalyst for the whole process of learning from each other. Coming to the table with your opinion without the desire to learn or think about what others say is counterproductive to the process. There will always be different individuals who know more about some things than other individuals in the community and this is all a part of the process of the members becoming more well-rounded as a result.
The more opinionated the members of a community are, the better chance it has of not falling into the dangerous territory of “group-think.” When members of the community come to the table to spout their own thoughts and refuse to consider the thoughts of others, it has the potential to go the other way so that nobody is gaining anything. Being a know-it-all doesn’t do anyone any good. It stifles positive relations and keeps topics from progressing. A conclusion never actually has to be reached for a topic to progress, but an understanding of where other members are coming from is of utmost importance.
I know a lot of us here at BlogCritics don’t agree on a great many things, and this is one of our strengths. BUT, without the understanding that any one member doesn’t know everything and is wrong every now and then, the communication falls into a quagmire of communication breakdown and stifled growth.
Why would you come to BlogCritics? Certainly it is another outlet for people to write and will offer greater traffic to personal sites, but it’s also so you can get feedback from a wider audience of readers and fellow BlogCritics. Contributing ideas and posts is just half the process. Without the interactions and a desire to gain from those interactions, BlogCritics becomes not as much of a community and more of a repository.
I feel like the majority of the time we have the right attitudes when going into our various topics, but lately with the issues of the war, it has become a situation where lines are drawn in the sand and the unwillingness to bend on any points is very frustrating.
The Republicans aren’t right and neither are the Democrats. It is obviously a combination of the two. I have my opinions and I love it when people agree with me, but so much of what we talk about is speculation that it is very important to read the words of others and at least understand what perspective they are coming from. For all you know, they could be right.
We are all guilty of falling into the trap of thinking we are right at least a portion of the time. I know I am guilty of it on occasion, or maybe even more frequently than I would like to admit, but I know that I have also started off comments with a question, said what my opinion was and asked “where am I going wrong?”.
Whether you realize it or not, this is a virtual community and we can grow on a personal level and as a group. Ultimately wouldn’t this be the best thing for all of us? A successful community offers its members something great and as a result it becomes desirable for other members to join. So, if your goal of joining BlogCritics was to drive traffic to your personal site, you should be helping to further the community and give visitors the incentive to want to come back and maybe even become posters themselves. This will not happen if we all draw lines in the sand and say we are right all the time. We are all jaded by different experiences and have a tendency to be blinded by our hearts on various topics.
I am not posting this because I think I exemplify what a member should be. This post was more of a reminder to myself because I fall into patterns that I don’t necessarily like. I like BlogCritics and I want it to continue to be a place that I visit far too often every single day. If we all keep some of these things in mind, we can make it a place that a lot more people will want to visit too.