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Internet Parties and Collective Effervescence
Today we’re talking about collective effervescence meets the internet.
Collective effervescence is defined by Durkheim as: “a community or society may at times come together and simultaneously communicate the same thought and participate in the same action. Such an event then causes collective effervescence which excites individuals and serves to unify the group.”
We’ve all had experiences of collective effervescence whether that’s at a wedding, a festival, a world cup celebration or just some crazy event. These experiences of collective effervescence give a lot of substance to our life, they’re fun, they help create trust, belonging and shared memories.
But I feel like these moments have been scarce in my online life. So this year I want to pay more attention to them and as a community manager I’m interested in ways to engineer them for others. I think this theme will be a common thread in my future posts but here I simply started listing some events where I felt some form of collective effervescence.
Before we start, for collective effervescence to happen online/offline you need:
a feeling that there’s a lot of people in the room
these people engage in a shared activity
people in the crowd can communicate in real time
To be honest this one is one of these unicorn moments of the internet and the collective effervescence around the GameStop action was surreal. One thing that enabled it is the WSB discord voice chats which at times went really wild. 👇
Most people in crypto can remember the week ConsitutionDAO was memed into existence and raised $40M+ in a blink for a symbolic cause. The collective effervescence here was strong. The Discord was extremely active and people were walking together in the same direction.
Travis Scott x Fornite Metaverse Concert
Less of a thing to be leveraged in Discord communities but!! Right during covid Travis Scott and Epic Games threw what imo is the best ‘metaverse’ concert to date. That was right during lockdown and it was a world first for that type of event and scale. 12M players attended.
p.s: Calvin Harris is performing one today so let’s see how good it is.
NFT Drops - RTFKT quests
There has been so much euphoria around NFT drops in the past two years. I wouldn’t qualify all of them as collective effervescence but there’s a few occasions where projects are being very intentional and RTFKT drops tend to be in this category.
RTFKT has been immaculate with their worldbuilding and animation videos.
The engagement and excitment around drops are really high and the RTFKT team does great at creating effervescence with quests and enigmas that precede drops.
The Discord GIF Fest
A Discord chat can actually feel fun and engaging. I recently attended the SeedClub Demo day and I hadn’t seen this many GIFs in a long time.
I also attended the first Guild.xyz community call in 2023 and with 1k+ people in the room and some fun jokes you could definitely feel like you were part of something.
Gather Town Bazaar
This screenshot is from the kick off of Batch 5 of Kernel’s course. I wasn’t around but I feel like Gather Town is one of the tools that helps you make online interactions more vivid. This being said Gather Town doesn’t really allow for real-time communication with a large perceived crowd. Its spatial feature limits communication to people a few meters around you.
One community manager dream is to create moments of collective effervescence for their community. So I invite anyone interested join me in studying these events and putting together a library of tools and techniques to make them happen.
Let’s work together towards a more fun and memorable digital space.
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