It’s always stimulating to spend time with people smarter than yourself, and today at lunch I was at a table with six of them. We talked about many things related to podcasting and community, but I left pondering one question: What are the advantages and disadvatages of developing or encouraging multiple isolated communities as opposed to a single centralized one?
Here’s the context. If a podcast (or any other form of expression) is published via multiple channels, and if each of those channels has its own community of listeners, those listeners will interact in isolation from the other communities formed among the listeners via the other channels. If you receive a podcast from web site A and I receive it from web site B, and each of those sites has their own community tools, you and I won’t be able to exchange ideas. In fact, we may not even know one another exist are are interested in the same topics. If carried to an extreme, there are as many distribution channels as there are listeners and we all end up in communities of one.
OTOH, if we all intereact within a single, larger, centralized community, might that be so large and busy as to be impresonal and no longer valuable? At least in this case, the possibility exists for us to interact, then break off into separate groups.
Just food for thought perhaps.