Today’s #AuraPops (not in the form of a 15-second video!) highlights the importance of community and crowdsourcing.

Generally, crowdsourcing will involve one or two lead contributors and then there are several minor contributors, all with something worthwhile to say. You can’t always have something to say about everything! The leaders will have a project in mind and a specific goal to achieve. The crowd does not contribute in a vacuum. They do so as part of a community of other contributors.

Within crowdsourcing, a community naturally forms. Normally, it’s the job of one person to ensure the project is progressed and continues to develop, whilst the other contributors do their piece for the project and then step back.

Once all have contributed everyone joins back up to discuss how they can assist the project roll out.

A great example of this is Stephen Waddington’s (@Wadds) #PRStack. I joined the second project in the summer where we all wrote a chapter for an a free e-book, which Wadds was developing to help PR practitioners get to know tools they can use to help workflow and get better at their jobs. The how-to guides were written by 35 PR practitioners and sent to Wadds. Wadds had a fantastic collaboration going with Prezly and the team there. Prezly took the content and developed it for the e-book. Wadds was the main driving force, reminding everyone of deadlines and then when it came to proofing and discussing rolling it out, everyone was on board.

A community developed as everyone shared tweets and mentioned each other in blog posts. Relationships have developed which might not have been if PRStack hadn’t existed.

Another point to make is people having the confidence in what they say, when contributing. The first #PRStack was mainly written by males, but I was really pleased to see that the second had pretty even contributions. Ages ago I had a conversation on Twitter about why women lack the confidence to write down and articulate what they know and how they can contribute. Many see it as blowing their own trumpet, which women generally don’t like doing. It’s the same as offering an opinion about something in the press. Women tend to shy away whereas men tend to push forward and create opportunities.

So, I’m hoping the big leap in female participation in the PRStack community was a sign of women growing in confidence!

Anyone, one piece of advice. Communities are worth a huge amount to networking and learning. Go find a community you can be part of or better still, create your own!