Name: Gabrielle Bernstein
Ning Community: HerFuture.com
Creator since: 2007
Tagline: Find a mentor, be a mentor
Milestone: From Indie Author to Oprah Guest
That’s what Gabrielle Bernstein discovered with her Ning community, www.HerFuture.com.
Author of the books “May Cause Miracles,” and “Add More ~ing To Your Life,” and named one of Oprah’s New Generation of Spiritual Thinkers, Gabby’s goal is to “empower women to reconnect to their inner guidance system.”
Gabby says, “HerFuture.com is one of the greatest tools for achieving my mission. Our site is a space for transformational growth, powerful connections and inspirational relationships.”
“I was getting a lot of feedback from young women saying they needed direction and inspiration. I started out as one woman working to help many women and I was up till 4am getting carpal tunnel because I couldn’t respond to everyone. I wanted to serve these women, but I didn’t have enough hours in the day to do it by myself.”
“It became clear that I had to take that message and community online and create a place for these people to connect not only to myself – but to other empowering women.”
HerFuture.com has become an important social networking site that helps young women find mentors, and women of all kinds make deep personal connections.
“The community is geared towards the many-to-many rather than one-to-many. It’s an incredible experience to see so many people rallying around a person and their question or issue, everyone supporting each other.”
You’ve heard that two heads are better than one–imagine how much better thousands are.
“It’s a beautiful reciprocal experience, people putting out a request and having that request answered–often immediately. People know they’re being heard–and helped, and they, in turn, do that for others.”
“There’s a group element, which is one of the greatest resources on the site–we have hundreds of groups–with people joining together around topics they’re inspired by–serving the group as a whole with their content and advice.”
“When I first started HerFuture, my primary objective was to help people. What’s happened as a result of this growing community, is that it’s not just about people helping people–but people getting help and receiving help in the same moment.”
“Someone might have joined to be of service of someone else, but within an hour of looking around the groups and blogs and interaction with the one on one connections, they find they can be served there as well.”
“You start to see the separateness between people and cultures disappear because they’re there for the same reason–to help each other. Regardless of where we’re coming from, that desire for deeply connected relationships is what joins us together.”
The web is undergoing an evolution from a broadcast medium to a conversational community medium.
“What you can achieve with community you couldn’t in another format – is group energy. Energy is in everything–individuals connecting with other individuals creates more energy, focused energy… It’s a very powerful way to create change.”
“I couldn’t do this alone–now, HerFuture.com lets me be a catalyst for the changes these people are making in their own lives.”
The community aspect is tremendous because it ignites the members of the group rather than just being a public figure carrying on your own message.
Now, the conversation is the community’s conversation. It’s about what they want to share, and their own interests. They can create their own platform to hold that conversation with like-minded people.
“The site has taken on a life of its own. The power of participation is critical to the success of HerFuture.com.”
“One way we’ve been able to encourage participation is to honor those who create great content. Once a week we send out an email to all our members called “Blogs we dig,” and that’s how we help highlight the blogs that have had the biggest impact on us and the community this week–or the ones that have the greatest number of comments and the feedback has been tremendous. So we don’t just talk about participation, we actively support it.”
“By encouraging and supporting our members, we’ve seen many people on the site rising to be new leaders. Ning has given us the ability to offer a platform to thousands of people who have something important to say.”
“I’m proud to say we use Ning to give a voice to our community.”