There is always a lot of heavy, meaningful stuff going on in the world. Death, destruction and tragedy and what can be done to help.

Your community might be about something on this level – dealing with illness or struggle in some way, for example. But, chances are, your community isn’t really as important as these concerns in the grand scheme of things. I know mine aren’t: phpBB, Photoshop, community management and the martial arts.

A member of my staff, who resides in the United Kingdom, started a general thread about the recent royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Among the replies was one member who basically said that, with all of the recent tornadoes in the southern part of the United States, it was annoying that such coverage was being dedicated to the royal wedding.

One of the recent tornadoes came very close to me and my family. They also came scarily close to two of my best friends (Brandon Eley and Chrispian Burks) and numerous people that I know. Thankfully, everyone is alright.

But, what I recognized and what I told the member was that pretty much every thread on our community was trivial compared to those sort of issues – but, at the same time, that doesn’t mean that every thread needs to be diverted to important issues or that the threads aren’t important to someone, just because they may not be important to a lot of people.

If someone went around our forums and replied to every thread saying it wasn’t as important as <insert issue here>, that would be damaging to the community and counterproductive.

On top of that, pressing issues are all around us. An online community can be a break from those issues, helping to balance out the lives of members with a sense of triviality or something that they simply enjoy, that isn’t immediately crucial to life. People need a release, they need a hobby, they need something that takes their mind off of things.

To me, that is important.