On Thursday, we had the pleasure of hosting Ric Dragon, CEO and co-founder of DragonSearch, for an enlightening hour on Creating Healthy Communities in Social Media. From the origins of the term "community" to how dysfunctional communities are like families, this was a fast-paced hour packed with information. Check out the video below and read on for highlights.

Creating Healthy Communities in Social Media with Ric Dragon from Ning on Vimeo.

The most interesting takeaway from this talk for me were the analogies between functional families and functional communities. All healthy families will have a small amount of dysfunction. Ric argues that the essential elements for functional and healthy communities are: 

Empathy - Being able to feel the pain of others and identify it. When large groups of people have a lack of empathy, bad things happen. 

Addressing the Elephant in the Room - a taboo or big element that members don't want to talk about can be the downfall of a community.

Boundaries - Blurring of the boundaries that mark what's appropriate interaction between community members can be a slide down a dysfunctional hill. 

Conflict Extremes - While conflict can be healthy, too much conflict can be detrimental and needs to be addressed. 

What did you appreciate most in this webinar? 


Other resources mentioned by Ric: 

The Asch Conformity Experiments 

Adam Kmiec's 5 Roles in Community 

The Deep Role Model (Paul Moxnes) 

Tuckman's 5 Stages of Group Development 

Dunbar's Number 

Sherry Turkle, Alone Together (TED Talk)

Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language (Robin Dunbar)

Creating Healthy Communities is part of the Ning Community Management Talks series. Past presentations cover topics including strategies for generating activity, managing growth, facilitating member engagement, metrics and measurement for community health, and the science behind it all.

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