I was looking at some High School social networks and came across this great Sports online community from HighSchoolPlayBook.com. What I did find interesting, was that the overriding Purpose for the community – to discuss sports at the High School level – gets circumvented when a ‘situation’ arises that affects all members. In this case, guns to the school.

The main video on the region’s page is the student talking about her experiences in the classroom when the alarm went off, and what it was like to sit there from 8am until noon, while police search for the gunman.

Background video: (I can’t embed hers)

From time to time, real world affects your community in a real way. If they come and stay to talk about it – irrespective of any ‘no off topic’ rules you may have – you have community. If they leave to discuss it elsewhere, you don’t. I’ve had people disagree with me on this point – brands don’t want people discussing horrible events on their forums. Well, all I can say is, you are wrong. We talk about what we care about with people we care about in online communities we care about. I’m glad HighSchoolPlayBook didn’t stop these videos from going ahead.

By the way, awesome site!