As I write this post, I’m listening to “The Ghost of Christopher Wallace” by Jay Electronica featuring Diddy. It was made available as a free download recently and I really like it.
The song features two verses from Electronica and lots of ad-libs from Diddy, which I love. The second half of the song is all ad-libs. But, in between the first and second Electronica verses, Diddy raps, “your reign on the top was short like leprechauns, as I crush so-called willies, thugs and rapper-dons.” This line comes from “Kick in the Door” by The Notorious B.I.G.
Though it’s not what Biggie meant, what I’m thinking about right now is how destructive it can be, for anyone managing a community, to get wrapped up in their reign on the top.
I think it’s bad when an online community becomes a numbers game, where growth is expected, where you must be bigger than someone else, larger than others. I think managing for popularity is dangerous because the popular decision isn’t always the right one.
Don’t get me wrong, being the biggest in a particular space is something to be proud of and even something to want to be. If I’m #1 in a space, I’m talking about it, I’m enjoying it and I’m staying on the grind.
But, first and foremost, I want to be #1 in the way that matters most: culture. That’s what I manage to. I manage to culture. Culture is what your community is all about. How your community feels, what the atmosphere is. How people talk to one another. That is the culture.
You can’t always be #1 in post count. You can’t always be #1 in traffic. But, you can always be #1 in culture because only you have your culture and that is what you offer to others and what makes your community unique.