What I learned from my Neighborhood

Last Friday I was offline, not by choice, but due to the power going out due to a storm that hit Northern California. Sure, not a severe storm in comparison to any area that receives regular hurricanes, but most Californians were off guard, myself included.

I’ve a sub-level garage that’s below street level, and in the rare case of a storm the sump pump will activate and clear the drain. Sadly, in this rare case, the power went out, and no more sump pump. My neighbors, who share the same wonderful design and I realized we had to resort to buckets to clear the drainage area or risk our garages becoming a swimming pool.

What was really interesting was to see how the community came together, neighbors helping neighbors (some who don’t speak to each other on a frequent basis) and all chipping in. Some residents were away on vacation, and if they didn’t receive the help of a neighbor, their garage would be flooded. Others, too elderly to carry water in a bucket had to rely on the help of those around them. Not all was well, as some renters let the garage flood, they simply didn’t care.

Strangely, this all reminded me of you all, that is, those who are in my online community. The web industry is a unique one, there’s an amazing amount of collaboration that occurs, and online neighbors help and assist each other. Sometimes, we can’t physically assist them with bailing buckets, but from information, advice, or just morale support. Communities often form by need or interest, in this case, we all live in the same proximity but were brought much closer together than ever before through this bonding experience. I’m on much better terms with all my immediate neighbors, we all helped each other.

Aside from avoiding a minor disaster, (and am getting a backup generator) I learned a lot about how communities and neighbors respond in the physical world and online. The strength comes when members collaborate, help, and support each other.

Downed Tree on 280 takes slows freewayPicture 192miserablePicture 185

Tagged Community Conversations: