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New Power Communities - Succeed or Fail?

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Fundamental to the concept of New Power is the communities that drive it. Their success or failure is highly dependent on how the community interactions are designed, which is detailed in a book I'm reading called New Power. I also previously wrote about the power of doing together and how it inseparably relates to the mind.

As described in the book, a New Power community has three parts:

  • Owner or steward - company or entity that controls or fundamentally influences the community

  • Super participants - these are the equivalent of the service providers, e.g. site moderators, drivers, hosts, editors. The main driving force

  • Participants - Content creators, users

Three parts of a whole
A New Power community typically has three parts. Generated by Canva Text to Image

The chapter begins by describing an example of how the Reddit community - in particular the moderators as the super participants, were starting to rebel against Reddit Inc as the owner. It even had a name - #RedditRevolt. Reddit Inc were enforcing new rules that the moderators did not like and so the moderators rebelled and even started to split off into their own sites. This example highlighted the importance of getting the relationships between people right, in this case conducting proper community consultation, so the community doesn't collapse.

Freaky animals plotting a rebellion
The last thing you want is for your star contributors to turn against you! Generated by Canva Text to Image.

Another example was a comparison between Uber and Lyft. Uber use a very competitive model to try and get prices down while Lyft adopt more of a community-between-drivers also inclusive of customers to a degree. Lyft even go as far as offering mentoring programs to new drivers and picnics to build a community feel.

Retro car picnic
Lyft organises picnics for their drivers. Generated by Canva Text to Image

In designing a New Power community there are several considerations:

  • Who gets rewarded and who pays

  • Who gets recognised and who has status

  • What creates stickiness, i.e. makes contributors stay

  • How do you establish trust

  • Who calls the shots

Walking and working together
When a New Power community works well, mountains can be moved. Generated by Canva Text to Image

If you think this looks a bit tricky, you're absolutely right! With such a challenging exercise it helps to know how the mind works through self reflection, like the one I do.

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David Clouston
David Clouston
May 14, 2023

Love that car image Chris 👍🙂


Steven Trpenov
Steven Trpenov
May 12, 2023

Sounds like Truth !

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