Community: The notion of community has changed dramatically through social media, allowing groups to operate almost like independent groups, except that these groups have moved beyond traditional demographics and affiliations. Their notion of community is increasingly diverse, centering on non-traditional aspects of identity and affiliation (e.g., interests or expertise). As a result, these groups experience a wide range of perspectives and contributions.
As the group forges to share identity through their collaboration, these groups often operate more effectively and efficiently. Challenges occur when they become part of cross-functional initiatives, and may then behave more tribally, resulting in project delays, infighting, and petty turf wars.
When it comes to consumers, companies are using social media to develop focus groups for product evaluation and development. In doing so, they are building brand loyalty and keeping their “finger” on the pulse of consumer trends. As one’s everyday life becomes more digitized, hopefully that will change.