Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Thoughts on Community Conversations in Atlanta – How they Happen


nucleus_actinLast week when a few of us did the How I Work posts, Allen Nance made the comment that it makes him laugh that us in the entrepreneurial tech community are “blogging at each other.” All in good fun, and yes, I’m giggle at how cute we are, but I’ve also been stewing on this for a while and have some thoughts.

The Atlanta Startup Community, like every other community/ecosystem has layers of participants. There is the inner circle leaders and outspoken proponents. Then there are the participants who love the community but aren’t leaders, then there are varying fringe layers of participation. Some layers include folks who drift in and out of the community and some are there always but silent.

For a community to thrive, the inner circle needs to be tight. It needs to be active and it needs to be dense.  Similar to an atom structure: the nucleus determines a lot of what happens around it.

I’m a daily reader of Fred Wilson’s blog at  The most impressive thing about AVC is the community of commenters.  I have no idea what the average number of comments is, but I suspect it’s at least 50-100 per post.  The site is really more of a community site than a blog, acting like a Forum, with Fred’s post teeing up the topic of conversation for the day. The names become familiar and it really does feel like an online community.

I love our Atlanta community of bloggers. I love that conversations happen via blogs.  We don’t have a single site like AVC where all these conversations are happen (Hint, hint for some great journalistic entrepreneur out there…), but the blogging community is healthy and vibrant and that’s just what we need.

I also love these things about it, and you should to:

- It’s completely open. Anyone can start writing, commenting, and participating.

- There are tons of resources to make a difference if you step and decide to become a leader.

- If you have an opinion and are willing to share, it’s easy to stand out. The vast majority of people keep their opinions to themselves and don’t have the courage to step up and write publicly.

- We have a friendly community.  Even our disagreements with Urvaksh are handled with Southern courtesy.

2013 was a great year for Startups in Atlanta. I have a feeling though, that it will look tiny compared to the startup successes we will see in 2014-2018. Many new things were set in motion this year… now is the time to get involved.


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