I still believe there is a place for genuine community on the web; messy, welcoming, difficult, and beautiful. A community of peers defined by the people who show up and contribute.
Brian Bailey has written a great post on community vs. audience. Though I think many of larger “voices” (brands, celebrities) have resorted to using the web as a broadcast mechanism, its real power lies in developing more meaningful communities (ie, Reddit).
My job is as much about educating potential partners about how awesome these deeper communities on the web can be as it is about showing them how Shelby can be an effective tool for them. Ultimately, I believe it is the organizations that are willing to embrace the messiness and serendipity of internet communities that will succeed in standing out and attracting a valuable, lasting community of people. After all, messiness and serendipity more closely resemble real life than any carefully curated message designed for the masses to digest.