The Community at Small

posted by on 30th April 2011, at 11:30pm

Strange and incorrectly worded title I know, but you’ll understand once you’re done reading this.

Have you ever wondered why that meleer is actually against you and actually helping that annoying ranger that keeps stealing your kills? They may be part of a micro-community.

What is a ‘Micro-Community’ you ask? It’s a small group of people, usually 5 to 20, who know and talk with each other on a daily basis. The concept really became popular after the introduction of Clan chats (modern day ‘Friends’ Chats) but that’s not where it began. Back in 2005 (before some of y’alls’ RS careers I’m sure) the Fishing Guild used to be more than a place to fight with noobs while catching sharks to turn into Bunyips. Back then it was one of the most popular social clubs where you could not only talk with some great people, but also earn a nice profit fishing sharks while doing so (you must remember that sharks sold for a solid 1k each then and that 1k back then was roughly 10k today).

Of course nowadays with Friends’ Chat we can talk to people that are fighting the KBD in the wilderness while we are hunting chompy birds in Feldip Hills. We could do this before, yes, with Private messages, but that was only to one person. Friends’ Chat allows us to have our own chatroom where we control who’s in it and who’s not. But that in itself is not anything new because clan chat has been out since August of 2007.

The abilities granted by Friends’ Chat lets us easily talk with all our friends that are online at the same time. So instead of telling 5 friends individually that you just gained a level you can send one message through the Friends’ Chat and tell all 5 of them at once. This quick multi-messaging grows relationships faster than the old single chat private messaging. It also opens new relationships which may not have otherwise been made.

For instance, your friend Bob invites you to his chat. His friends Joe, Susan, and Kate are their too. You know Kate aswell, but since you’re not as good of friends with her as you are with Bob she never invited you to his chat. You find out Kate is also friends with Bob and start talking. Later, Bob has to go but you two keep talking (you had never talked much in PMs before except when she needed more monkfish since she likes to train combat). The next day you ask Bob and Kate if they have 91 crafting for an effigy you just got. They both say no because Kate mostly does combat and Bob likes to do everything (but he’s only level 75 in every skill). Right as Bob says that Susan has high crafting, Susan offers her level 98 crafting. The next day only you and Susan are in Bob’s chat, but now that ‘the ice has been broken’ you two talk like friends. If you had never been in Bob’s chat then you probably would not have found Kate. Sure, you could have eventually found someone to do your effigy, but that could have taken days or even weeks.

That’s one example. Of course that one was geared towards helping you, but the table could just have easily been turned in favor of Kate. The real question is…

How do I find and get involved in a Micro-Community?

The answer to that starts with a big A, Attitude. If you’re always yelling people’s heads off for stealing your kills, mining your rock, or just for your own enjoyment, you are not very likely to get to meet the kind of people who would invite you to or start one with you. Granted, some of the best friendships do come from a harsh battle which turns into a “Wanna be friends?”, but in reality that is rare and very unlikely. This kind of thing requires obeying the ‘Do to/treat others as you would have them do to/treat you’. You want to be part of a nice, happy, helpful micro-community? Be a nice, happy, helpful person to those you meet. One of them will more likely than not eventually get you involved in their micro-community or you two will start your own by inviting some of each of your friends into one of your’s Friends’ chats.

Of course micro-communities aren’t limited to small close knit groups of friends (though much larger than 20 is more of a clan, especially if ordered and enforced with rules). RSBandB’s Friends’ Chat is a micro-community. Almost everytime I’m in it I hear someone helping or saying they’ll help someone else. Most of us in the RSBandB chat also know each other fairly well. Some micro-communities start as public help chats like star hunting, penguin hunting, or effigy help. Yes, there are big main chats for those but there are probably also some smaller ones which are now mostly micro-communities.

Clan Chats (the ones released in April of 2011) made it even easier to be part of a Micro-Community since you could then always stay connected to your micro-community’s clan chat, even when hunting penguins or stars.

Of course, as with most things, a hefty dose of luck will go a long way to finding a good Micro-Community. I’ve also found that actively looking for one usually won’t lead you to one as you won’t have time to get to know people.

In the end it comes down to having a good attitude and being willing to get to know people. Your own Micro-community could be as close as getting to know that guy you see every third slayer task or talking to the level 50 girl who mines the tier 8 stars while you wait for it to become tier 7. You never know who you’ll find under the character!

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