On a recent trip through the Dayton airport book store, I came across a book that sparked an idea that I’m really excited about.
As you all know, I’m a bit of an online community buff. I truly believe in the power of online communities to bring together people and place for amazing results. Over the years, I’ve seen community members ban together in times of triumph and tragedy. I’ve seen people meet and marry through online communities, and I’ve been constantly excited by meeting people in person I’ve only interacted with on twitter or facebook. If I try to pick a favorite online community story, I find myself having a hard time choosing just one.
I came home from that trip inspired, wanting to share my stories and more importantly wanting to hear similar stories from my friends. So inspired, in fact, I’m beginning work on putting together a book of stories, inspiring tales that share the power of online community. The only message of this book is that communities are amazing, powerful things. And I need YOU to help me prove that.
My goal is to collect 50 such stories and edit them into book form by end of the summer. I’m tentatively calling the book “Connected by Distance”, but that may change.
I’m positive you have a great story, and I’d love to help you remember it and share it. If you participate, your story may be included in the collection along with your name and URL of your choosing. They don’t need to be terribly long (~600 words or so), and there’s no particular direction, theme, or topic (other than “online community does great things”). Make me laugh, make me cry, make me ask “how did we ever function with message forums, twitter, facebook, and/or YahooGroups.” Unfortunately, I’m not able to pay for stories, but hopefully that won’t stop you from kicking in.
Please let me know if you interested in participating by dropping me a email.
Here’s to not only changing the world for the better, but to being able to tell a great story afterward.
(Huge thanks to Derek Powazek and his Fray book for making me believe something this crazy might actually work)