Patch and its Community

What it means to be a part of patch and the community

What does it mean to be a community? I was reading about how Patch got started and it reminded me a lot of what I was doing in my past job but more specifically the organization I was working with in Oakland, Community Human Services. According to Webster's dictionary, "Community is a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society."

"Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what's going on near you. We're a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation."

Where I was working at before, I became a community liaison and a volunteer coordinator. I was working with other employees at the organization I worked with, clients, other non-profits in the Oakland area, students, other AmeriCorp members, and volunteers, amongst other people.

One of my major projects was constantly recruiting volunteers for our food pantry, as well as a community garden project I helped to coordinate. I had made contacts with other non-profits in the area that maybe knew of some volunteers to help. That's really when the idea of what a community hit me.

I was watching my term of service project video which is uploaded to this post. It's a little goofy at times, but it really gets the point of community across. 

What we have going here with Patch is something incredibly special, it's not everyday a journalist gets to work in an individual community. That's really awesome—sometimes I feel like that's the only way to see what is really going on in a community. Even we as local community bloggers see what's going on in our town every day.

Through that, we can help other another. Now that's what community is all about.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Donald Roessler January 22, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Very Nice Tara !!!
Tara Smith January 22, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Why thank you, good sir! It's so true, you can't really understand what a community is all about unless if you are constantly engaged in it. My one true regret however is that I didn't move during my term of service bc it was hard to be engaged in the community as much when you spent so much time commuting (by bus for that matter). However, as I said in my quote of the day, "Everything happens for a reason."
Roger January 23, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Quoting: "... I was working with ...., ... I worked with ..., ... I had made contacts ..., " I'm not being contrary, nor am I intending to pick and choose your words, but I think you point out a pitfall in your conclusion. Your definition of "community" does not include any direct words about relationship. However, your work experiences (quotes I've pulled out) speak directly about relationship. There are a couple of levels of relationships in a community. One is a deep, meaningful relationship where people know each other well, know what they think, and why. They share many deep seated convictions and ideas. The exchanges make a difference, one life to another. Another level might be considered friends. At this level, people know each other to some extent, and share some common ideas and convictions. Some influences pass between individuals at this level. Another level might be considered acquaintance. Here the relationship is pretty superficial, with some shared reasons for the contact. But, knowing what drives the person, and sharing much beyond entertainment, pleasure, and small chatter is rare. Another level might be considered faceless, superficial relationship, with little in common that matters. It is a relationship that merely skips over a few points, but does not mean much, does not motivate, or change another person.
Roger January 23, 2013 at 01:01 AM
I have all four of those levels of relationship. Patch fits into the last one. As much as I might participate, it is all "throw away" stuff. Levels #1 and #2, not so. Faceless, and often nameless, contact does little to change another person. Reading "what is going on" is interesting, but does little regarding a meaningful community (read: relationships that matter). Some of the interaction is necessary to be a responsible part of the community, whether common values or interests are shared or not. Yes, yes, ... I am sure others will disagree. That is fine, but only when much time and effort is spent on #1 will all the other levels start to emerge.
scott Stilwell January 23, 2013 at 06:01 AM
Roger, while I don't disagree that for some folks, their experiences within their community are just casual, everyone's experience is different. For example, one casual reader of the Patch may feel their life would function just fine whether Patch was here or not. Others may say they read and enjoy the various articles. Some folks may even feel Patch is a part of their daily life and really enjoy reading and posting interesting articles on Patch.
Tara Smith January 23, 2013 at 06:04 AM
I just wrote this from my perspective and experiences just like we all do.
scott Stilwell January 23, 2013 at 06:06 AM
I personally feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be a daily contributor to the Patch. I enjoy posting the Daily Bible Verse and I hope that folks enjoy reading the verses. I am hoping that in the near future, I can begin contributing to the patch even more with other topics.
scott Stilwell January 23, 2013 at 06:47 AM
Same here. I think it is important to realize that everyone has a different experience andttakes away somethin different. A community is going to have a melting pot of personalities and opinions.
Tara Smith January 23, 2013 at 06:57 AM
And that's what makes another part of community important, having that melting pot of personalities and opinions. We are all individuals with different goals, ideologies, etc. We can agree and disagree on things. That's what makes us human. However, having those different personalities and characteristics is important when it comes too say a community blog like this because we are all able to bring something to the "table."
scott Stilwell January 23, 2013 at 07:17 AM
I agree Tara. That is what makes any community special. Even though folks share a common interest, goal, etc, they also have unique differences to bring to the table. Those differences can and often do influence positive changes within community.


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