buzzword: community

So, about this whole ‘community’ thing.

I took advantage of a slow day at the office to sneak out to a mid-day yoga class, and as we were lying in savasana, my mind drifted to thoughts of community. A room of about 20 people were lying flat on their backs devoid of any stress in their bodies, empty of tension, as they rebuilt and prepared for the day ahead following sixty minutes of moving and breathing together. Some moments were serene, others impossible, but together, we completed the task at hand.

I thought about what I take from that community, and how vested I am in it. I enjoy the occasional-to-frequent practice to stay in shape and distract myself from everyday stresses. The studio offers intensive sessions, and regulars are chatty with the instructors, but I prefer to linger more on the outskirts of this community, popping in as I can, and enjoying the somewhat annonymity I can achieve by blending into a crowd of sweaty bodies as I make each class my own challenge.

I realized that my own level of commitment to this community almost frees me to dabble in many others. I made a short list of a handful of the communities to which I belong: yelp, my office, my Starbucks coworkers, varying circles of friends, the regulars at a Somerville dog park,the career networking on linked in, and, of course, Run My Errand.

Each of these communities gives me something different, exposes me to different people, and engages me in different levels of involvement. So, what is RME doing for me?

As an errand runner, I’m able to make a few extra bucks here and there when an errand pops up that is local/convenient for me. But I’m also tuned into the site’s community in a whole new way: I’m seeing who the errand senders are, which areas of the city seem to utilize our service most, what types of errands are common, and what types are not immediately successful. I’m informally filing this data for now.

What will RME do for me in the future? As the community continues to grow, I hope I can lend my creativity and event planning skills to help unite this community with local events, be it a fundraiser, a social meeting to thank members and senders for taking part, or training sessions for other runners as we continue to grow. As the programming team grows the website itself and helps us build an online community, I want to take it further and focus on the human interactions.

It’s so rewarding to complete an errand, like a cake I delivered to the Zipcar office, probably last April, and leave the sender, your single-serving employer, with a smile on her face, knowing you’ve done a favor and made a positive connection.  I want to see those connections begin on this site and extend into the ‘real world,’ so that we can all take what we want from this community.

Maybe you need a permanent dog walker, and that errand runner who helped you in a pinch becomes a new contact. Maybe you were just sick of the same old delivery chinese, and really appreciated your runner’s suggestion of a new spot to try. Run My Errand is building this kind of community, where chance interactions will make your life better.

We hope you’re enjoying the journey there.

savasana, the close to a yoga practice

jamiev2014

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