Our ‘personal relationships’ are linked through a variety of networks both simple and complex, through this you create a web of individuals connected to you or connections to groups made up of individuals - such as families, friends, work, clubs, societies, associations and groups also with you as a member. These connections are basically of two type “strong” (family and close friends) “weak” (acquaintances, clubs), surprisingly it’s frequently the weak connections that are most beneficial to individuals. It’s the weak connections that provide contacts to jobs and services.
As well as the connections our networks frequently have links to highly connected people, e.g. the people who always seem to know where to go for an answer. These people are “well connected”, others are “moderately connected” and some have very few connections - and these could almost be described as lonely.
From the study of communications networks and comparing these with personal relationships and social networks, the similarities become apparent and this leads us to propose that Community Groups thrive when there are higher numbers of links between groups and individuals that initiate and maintain these links between groups.
In practice this means that where you have a small number of connected individuals in a group, the remainder have fewer connections and as a consequence these have fewer, useful or well connected contacts.
This can be worse than it first appears because the individuals or families with few connections do not achieve as much in life than those with more connections. In fact, close connection - those of family - or those within a group - are not that useful when it comes to seeking work. It’s often those weaker contacts outside your immediate family or group that provide contacts that help in life.
So as with life, we seek to broaden the individual’s horizons as well as the social groups to which they belong.
Agoria is developed with this in mind. Your group has tools to communicate with its members, making it easier to increase individual contact within the group, by holding events and running the forums. In other words, each individual within the group has more exposure via a number of avenues to other members, getting to know them better and building stronger links.
Outside the immediate group, we have made it easier for groups to share events and information. Events can be shared between as many groups as you wish and you can invite other groups to share your events.
For community groups, Agoria is the ideal tool to widen your audience and increase your membership.
For groups with common interests, the ability to connect to other groups provides easier lines of communication.
For disadvantaged groups, the improved communications increase the number of weak links which are those that create the most benefit to members.
For almost all groups it’s the frequent and easy communications with their own members which is key to retention, for activities, promotion and public awareness it’s the connections to others which is equally important but not quite so obvious and sometimes not as easy as it should be. In Agoria and ActivityForum you have a tool which makes both of these easy.