What do you think of this model?
I created the Community Emotion Path in response to Jono Bacon's Community Belonging Path. I write about my experience as a community member in relation to the Community Belonging Path on this blog post and also introduce the idea of this new model.
The Community Emotion Path captures how a community member might feel at any stage of their community journey. A member might join the path at any point and equally might fall off or actively choose to step off the path. When off the path they feel lost or choose to look in on their community. A good community helps a member get back on the path on their own terms. The community respects the emotions of their fellow member – and helps them avoid getting caught up in one particular emotion, although this is easier said than done.
A community manager can lead-by-example and demonstrate – alongside active community members, ambassadors and moderators – that its ok to flow through a multitude of emotions like those on the Community Emotion Path. The ambition is to provide an inclusive way for members to actively step on or off the path – with no remorse – using a cadence that works for their individual context.
Once a member feels safe in the knowledge that they can't always be their best – and don't have to be their best – it creates a sense of freedom that may eventually lead to a more active community member.
Like any model, a model is fallible. Yet a model is useful for reflection, to start conversations and to simplify something complex. Perhaps it helps in some way and I'm keen to learn if it does.