Daily Archives: July 8, 2009

Are your readers a community?

I asked my Twitter followers what they think of substituting the word “community” for “readers” and I’m getting lots of good responses, many of them negative.

Either I didn’t know “community” had much of a stigma, or I spent too long working with “community” newspapers to notice. Back then, it seemed like a great linguistic way to hold a grizzled editor or publisher’s hand as they made the leap from thinking of the people in town as their “readers” to collaborating with them as “the former audience” as Dan Gillmor called them.

Twitter conversation embedded below, using Twickie to try it out.

ryansholin: I've been substituting the word “community” every time I start to type “readers” lately. What do you think?
about 44 minutes ago
lacajag: I like it. That's what communication's all about now.
about 42 minutes ago
greglinch: I've been liking “the former audience” more and more lately, but mostly avoid using it myself for some reason. Community = good.
about 41 minutes ago
scottros: good plan when readers really are community. True for some pubs/sites, not others. If not, then calling it so just rankles.
about 37 minutes ago
briandonohue: don't like it. Use of community to describe online followers, etc is a pet peeve of mine.
about 35 minutes ago
CatrionaStuart: Depends. You can have readers and not community. IMHO community denotes sharing knowledge/ideas/function. http://bit.ly/3XWBL7
about 34 minutes ago
briandonohue: My readers are not part of my community. They won't babysit my kids in a pinch or coach my kid soccer…
about 34 minutes ago
CharlieBeckett: I think community is almost a dead word now. Just because a group all read something doesn't make them a cohesive community
about 5 minutes ago