The word "community" has rich sociological and anthropological roots, and it is the foundation of what makes us human. If we trace social dynamics in every part of the world, in every part of history, we find humans gathering for safety, power, and connection. It is vital to us that we honor the past of this word and what it means in various cultures, while we acknowledge the undeniable similarities in how all humans connect.
We do not appropriate the term "community" for profit. We are borrowing from what we have learned from these groups while adding richness to community members' lives, not just building community to say we built it.
This is why we use the term "brand community" and not simply "community" at Gather.
So what is a brand community? We refined this definition in our work with CMX Media over three years, backed by two research projects of other 500 community professionals, and we landed on this definition: