What is blogging? Blogging is writing about things that matter to you and those you respect, nothing more. What matters more may be what blogging isn't. It isn't an effort to sell something to strangers, it isn't a political agenda, it isn't an attack on anyone and it isn't content prescribed by someone other than the writer.
What is community? Community is something I don't need to explain to an audience of Rotarians. It is a concept as old as human civilization and perhaps the key to it. What matters is why community should be paired up with blogging.
Blogging is already an act of communal behaviour. It's the sharing of experience, insight and passion for the benefit of the group.
Literally, blogging is independent writing to some virtual place on the worldwide web. You and your blog may already have a strong following, but community blogging is something a little more, maybe a lot more. The best way to define it is with an example.
Let's say John Fictitious, a Rotarian, has a personal website where he blogs about his efforts to help local farmers grow local food in small cooperative groups. He doesn't get paid for the blogging or for his work with the farmers, it's just his thing. Peter Pretend, another Rotarian from a different part of the world blogs about inner-city youth growing rooftop gardens to alleviate hunger and poverty.
The community blogging model would look something like this: John's home page would prominently show his latest stories (big headline, introduction and a link to the story), but beneath them, a little less prominent, are Peter's latest stories. John didn't put them there, Peter didn't put them there. The blogging software put them there because John and Peter are using a community blogging platform exclusive to a particular group - in this case, Rotary clubs and Rotarians. Looking at Peter's site, we see see Peter's work prominently displayed and John's there too, but a little less prominent.
How does this help either of them? Don't John's headlines draw visitors away from Peter's blog? Not at all. If Peter's headlines are clicked on John's site, Peter's stories open on John's site. They're not stealing each other's fanfare, they're leveraging it. They both get a larger audience than they could alone - and a targeted audience.
John and Peter are exposed to each other's work, and they can post comments to each other's blogs.
Now imagine a community of hundreds or even thousands of Rotarians blogging, each with their own personal blog site with their own name or club name in the banner. Each blogger or club gets their own distinct site, but leverages a collective audience, contributes to the collective wisdom while learning from it at the same time.
The key to an effective community blogging platform is its focus on the community. In this case, the global community of Rotary clubs and Rotarians.