This is great! It’s exciting to see the conversation carry on. I’m interested in the number six part of the discussion. I can’t disagree, but am wondering why that number works.
I happened to read Chris’ original post and one over on BlogHer on the same day. They seemed to fit together to me. Nancy White quotes Marnie Webb in a post called “Size DOES Matter: The Magic Number is Six“:
We don’t make communities for 1M, 100K, 10K or even 1K. The communities we make are for 6 people. Make that—share it, write it, meet with it—and let each of those spawn more communities of 6. Keep it small enough to really care about and relate to.
That’s one of the things that Mena Trott said the acquisition of LiveJournal taught her. The average number of people in a community is six. And that is a comfortable number. And one we can imagine.
As humans, we can relate to smaller groups of people, stories of a size that we can internalize. As we seek to create change in our families, towns, non profits, states, countries, the world, think about who the first six you want to reach.
Rural and Small Town folks often lament that we have STP, the Same Ten People or even Same Two or Three, doing everything. That is not necessarily a disadvantage. Another thought drummed into us is, if you can’t do something big, it doesn’t count. That’s wrong, too.
The secret is that there is more magic in the smaller group. Six is a magic number; you plus five makes a very effective group. So be proud of your Small Town’s small activist group. Gather up no more than five friends and change the world! That’s what we are doing here.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.