Interaction and engagement with online communities is fast becoming a fundamental element of online strategy for successful organisations today. Blogs, social networks, review sites and other web2.0 tools and services are changing the way businesses interact with communities around the globe.

But as Chris Pirillo points out at LeWeb 2009, the tools are NOT the community – the community is the people using the tools, the connections between them.

My favourite quote from Chris’s presentation:

If you believe a community is a tool, then you yourself are a tool.

Communities aren’t about tools and they’re not about technology – communities are about people, and understanding people is far more valuable than understanding the underlying platforms and technology when it comes to being a part of and harnessing the potential of online communities.