Communities, Categories,and Neighborhoods: Key organizational concepts in Awareness Communities

Excerpt from Eric Schurr's blog on January 31, 2022

While every community has some unique aspects, they all share some key underlying fundamental organizing principles.  The Awareness platform supports a variety of organizational constructs that allow for a very flexible model in designing communities.  The main organizing concepts are Communities (the main construct), Neighborhoods (focus areas within a community) and Categories (content organization).  These are explained in a new white paper we just published that is available here, and I'll summarize some of the main points.

A simple way to understand these concepts is to envision an internal-facing community in an organization that is designed to mirror the corporate organizational model (this is not the way it has to be, but this simple example helps one visualize it).   The Community spans the enterprise, there could be a Neighborhood for each department (Sales, Marketing, Engineering, etc.) and Categories within each Neighborhood (e.g., in Sales it might be Wins, Losses, Customer Stories, Sales Tools, etc.). 

Another example is to think of an external-facing community about health care.  The Neighborhoods could be major types of diseases (Cancer, Diabetes, Blood disorders, etc) and the Categories organized within the Neighborhoods (in Cancer it could be Lung, Bone, Liver, etc.). 

You can have Neighborhoods within Neighborhoods, and an unlimited number of Categories within Categories.  

These are the concepts that create the Taxonomy of the community.  Of course, tagging and Geo-tagging also creates the "folksonomy" of the community.

The whitepaper goes into a lot more depth.

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Posted By: Patrick Mancini (05/02/2022 1:24:53 PM)
Comment: Thank you for the clarification - I see great value in National organizations that maintain relationships at the Chapter level. Many large non-profits have chapters in each of the fifty states (or at least one per US-region). Collaboration and communication with other external constituents (such as the medical community) continues to be a challenge in term of streamlining information within a single holistic view. Establishing a community environment for these constituents is a key initiative for many non-profits; A/N may be the way to establish a suitable, non-intrusive framework that complies with the sensitivities surrounding conflict of interest.

Posted By: Eric Schurr (01/02/2022 2:55:09 PM)
Comment: They really are very different. Awareness designs, builds, and hosts branded Web 2.0 communities for enterprises. The communities can contain a variety of Web 2.0 features in two areas: user-generated content (such as blogs, wikis, discussions, photo sharing, bookmarking, etc.) and social networking (profiles, searching for users, friends, etc). All of this is coupled with enterprise security and control (user permissions, content moderation, integration with back-office systems, etc.). The community is built to have the look and feel of the sponsoring company's brand image, at the URL of their choosing, and integrated into their overall web presence.

Posted By: Patrick Mancini (01/02/2022 11:38:47 AM)
Comment: I would add to this comment also that many non-profits can benefit from these community environments based on the type of community it serves. I am wondering to what degree anonymity exists however, especially where these communities are dealing with disorders of one kind or another. What we find is that many of these non-profit groups will use Yahoo groups as a means of communicating. As the President, volunteer and consumer of a major non-profit in New England, what can you say about the differences in the Awareness solution as opposed to Yahoo Groups?