Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Community - a dirty word?

We've been writing some new ads here at Wedge Card and in the hope that lots of people would like them we ask lots of people what they thought. 9/10 said 'Don't use the word community; it makes you sound reallllllly boring.' There is of course the chance we asked some really sub standard people (that wouldn't surprise us they were our friends and family members after all).

Part of me wanted to throw something at them when they showed revulsion for what I think is such an empowering and positive concept. What's so wrong with knowing your neighbours and feeling a sense of togetherness with the people around you? Are the only people who are good the ones you know and the rest dismissed merely because you don't know them? Or is the only acceptable form of community nowadays one that's virtual? I know I'm not cool, but that would be very sad.

I may have got this ass-upwards. Tell me, is community such a dirty word?

1 comment:

Dominic said...

We use "community" in the description of our shop. We've been here 17 years and have 100's of customers drawn from a very local area. I think what some of the people you spoke to may have been trying to say is that it the word is indeed in danger of becoming boring because of over-use. E.g. the first thing Fresh & Wild did when opening a store in our area is put up a "Community Notice board". A brand new shop, American owned, one arm of a giant money-making leviathan selling products from all over the world. Nothing to do with community as you are referring to it. But the people who tightly control their image know that some notion of "community" is important to their customers, so it's almost the first word you see as you walk through the door. I think that's the problem with the word - it's everywhere and it's just another way of selling people stuff. Most of the supermarkets use it in their publicity even! We still use it though, at least for the time-being, because it remains a simple, honest and accurate description of our shop to help people know what they will find when they come to us. Sorry to be somewhat contradictory!