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. . . Of A Feather

Your community needs you, but what-and-where is it?

This story appears in the February 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As personal and corporate "giving" continues to grow, 1999 was another record year for philanthropy. That breakthrough gives me cause to consider entrepreneurs' role in the future of community. Business has always had a role in community building, but it'll be both different and more important in the future.

As we should expect, the post-industrial society defines community differently. For example, there's clearly less, if any, geographic constraint. Communities of interest are being created-and dissolved-every hour of every day on the Net. Smart companies recognize that the people who post messages of dissatisfaction are parts of the community every bit as much as the satisfied customers. These people should not be shut up as they were in the Industrial Age but rather celebrated for their contributions to our improvement. Community has never felt as exclusionary as it does now.

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