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Shared Frequenciesᵀᴺ #001 | Community beyond updates
Welcome to your favorite new curated space to learn...
Hey Friend, 💚
We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed a summer full of spontaneous trips, frozen treats, salty noses, and suntan lotion. We’ve been thinking a lot about our conversations, our collaborations, and all the ideas we've shared.
We are sending this to you because you’ve played an integral role in our growth until now. Thank You for joining for the enfolding of this collaborative newsletter project.
What is Shared Frequenciesᵀᴺ?
Community-curated content that enables real learning, seeds connections and cross pollinates brilliant ideas.
Showcasing work from TN and sister projects.
Sharing knowledge we love from books, the internet & beyond
Celebrating milestones as a community.
Don’t be shy about submitting for inclusion in a future issue! 🖇️ This space is for YOU, to share news, accomplishments, learnings and be CELEBRATED. 🪅
Issue #001 is just a scroll away. Why don’t you stay for a cup? ☕️
Feature: “Elephants not Unicorns,”contributed by Adam Delehanty from Ghost.
Online Event: Salon Series starts October 4th!
Interview of Jovian Browne, Cofounder and Community Strategist
Gravita becomes Mission Control in their brand of own space-exploration lore.
Advanced Reading: Business Insider’s “No-one posts on Social Media Anymore” and “Headless Brands” by Other Internet.
The next generation of great tech companies won’t look like the last.
Our friend and collaborator, Adam Delehanty from Ghost recently worked with investor Erica Wenger on a viral essay, “Elephants not Unicorns.” The essay calls for a new archetype for what a successful tech startup can and should look like in 2023.
Once upon a time, people were born into communities and had to find their individuality. Today, people are born individuals and have to find their communities.
- K-Hole, Youth Mode
Our icons tell us everything about who we are and what we value. For the last fifteen years in tech that icon has been the unicorn – startups with a valuation of at least $1B. (There are now over 1200 of them.)
The next decade deserves a different icon. One that corresponds to the behaviors and traits of the most interesting companies operating today. These startups turn their customers into members and their companies into communities. I call them elephants, not unicorns. And they establish a new paradigm for what great companies – and company-building – look like in the years to come. Read the full article.
Once a month TN hosts a salon series with mini presentations of writing, artwork, products, fashion, and more. You’re welcome to take the stage at a future Salon Seriesᵀᴺ. 🎤
October 4th Jovian Browne will warm up the stage at our first Salon Seriesᵀᴺ with a presentation of their research with LasVoces.co. The 2022-23 study explored how people met their needs and self-actualized in web3 communities. Come hang out and learn more!
Jovian Browne joins as a cofounder to Jordan Nerison
I am honored beyond words by the invitation to co-steward Times Newᵀᴺ with ultra-creative megamind Jordan Nerison. Please ask me anything about what I’m up to as the newest co-lead of this community and driver of business.
Q: What is a community strategist doing at a brand studio?
I became a cofounder at TN in early 2023. My goal has been to extend the branding services already being offered at TN, to include, social activation, community architecture, events, curated content, and more. What I offer focuses on getting people adopting and vibing with the group identity that they share and leading their own rituals. When I started, Jordan and I spent some time creating a new capabilities deck that folded community into branding services. That’s when we came up with the treatise: Identity + Community = Culture.
Q: Can you build culture intentionally or do you have to let it happen?
Absolutely both. You need to put some ingredients into the pot to influence the way you want your culture to blend and taste. But, then you have to give a ton of time for people to step up and shine.
We are professionals, right? So of course, we needed to have processes to deliver a plan to our clients within a reasonable timeframe, defining what they should do and why. The key here is having a clean research process. I developed some tools, such as, the People Workshop and Org Ethnography, to deeply profile who makes up a group and why they choose to gather. Analyzing qualitative data gives us ridiculously precise answers about what will (and will not) work for a community build. You would be surprised at how precise the strategy can be when you start from data! There is a rigor to my diagnostic process, that means our development and repair strategies will actually fit the community we’re serving. These aren’t just “Jovian’s favorite strategies” or anything like that. there’s a reason for every element in the strategy I hand over to clients.
Q: Is this the same thing as Community Management?
Community Management is an umbrella term that problematically blends together way too many areas of expertise and leads to so many misconceptions about our growing field. People have different assumptions about what this Community Manager person is supposed to do: everything from playing a virtual receptionist, to participating in the company’s strategic growth planning.
I prefer these terms instead:
Community Steward for the hosting community spaces.
Community Strategist for determining what systems to build.
Community Engineer/Architect for building KS systems, comms, or other community infrastructure
To me personally, I think Community Manager is such an ugly word. Implying that your followers need management makes them sound like unruly barn animals. It puts the focus on eliminating bad behaviors and not enough on fostering good ones. Rather, participants deserve guidance, care & celebration, and I’ll always think of my work as encouraging prosocial habits in various types of group settings.
Q. What’s the hardest thing about working in community-building today?
You may expect me to say something about the virtual nature of communities today, but I’m going to go in a different direction. My answer is, to separate ourselves from the influence of legacy systems. We have to stop looking at people as pawns in a game, whose engagement generates profits for someone outside of the group.
What’s best for the individuals in the group IS WHAT’S BEST for the group. Part of my work is to inspire clients to trust themselves, listen to their own ethics, and practice that, regardless if that means going against capitalist notions of what will work. Some of the most powerful shifts we practice are:
Optimize —> Personalize
Aggregate —> Curate
Mainstream —> Community
Efficiency —> Resiliency
Yes, going against the grain is hard. But it is less difficult when you see it as going with an internal compass of what feels good to do for yourself and for others. In these times of intense technological and cultural change, I am motivated to do my part to shift business logic towards what it regenerative, ethical & sustainable.
As Times Newᵀᴺ continues to grow, we want to make sure we are spending time with you individually to nurture our partnerships. Add your name to get a coffee with Jordan or Jovian.
It’s no secret that research is the cornerstone of creating anything new. As a result, we have no shortage of interesting and ephemeral corners of the internet. This month, here’s what the community discovered.
Add something to our Internet Explorers bin, to get included in the next issue!
Define the vibe x NASA: This summer, TN helped the core team at Gravita Protocol define their vibe, and the group fell in love with archival photos of NASA’s Mission Control. With the core values of cooperation, honesty & empowerment, Gravita’s team immediately identified with Mission Control and would choose it as the protagonist for their unique brand lore. Thanks Luca, Rhett S. and Cory C. sharing this inspo.
It’s not just you – no one is posting on social media anymore. Jordan N. loved this article because she has noticed a huge shift in her own behavior: moving away from pro-social activity (sharing, commenting, posting), towards passive consumption. She says, “I’m excited to see a new wave of niche community-building replace the major legacy networks, like, twitter, insta, etc. This article made me feel much less guilty about not knowing what is cool to post on instagram these days 😅”
Deep dive into headless brands: While looking for research to further understand the relationship between network dynamics & brand development, Jordan N. discovered this excellent article published by Other Internet. Their research validates a lot of the thoughts floating around at TN regarding living brands.
This has been Issue #001 of Shared Frequencies!
As always, if you have something for a future issue please respond to this email or join us on Telegram the group chatᵀᴺ.
💚 To hearing what kind of music we can make together