In early 1990s when he and Bill Taylor got together to build the magazine, they believed a great magazine succeeds because it identifies a community that already exists but doesn't know it's a community yet. The magazine becomes a strange attractor that pulls folks together.
According to Webber magazine is nothing more than a giant satellite dish in space - a vehicle for collecting stories about people, ideas and information that can then be deployed in other media.
They determined Fast Company would give folks the opportunity to come together where THEY wanted to come together.
Keys to community: context is king - a point of view, a perspective, that gives the community a reason for being and a trajectory into the future. Remember: the purpose of a community is to do something.
Back when, they were still in a world where marketing was moving from monologue to dialog. FastCo took revolutionary prop to instead of being the last word, was the first word in starting a discussion.
Company of Friends was the business society of the future: the chamber of commerce waiting to be formed: FastCo's job was to enable (not monetize, not interfere).
You're going to tell us what you need to know, and we'll go find the answers to help you grapple with the problems you're dealing with in your life
4Cs of successfully engaging people via a magazine:
It used to be we struggled with finding the technology that could support the 4Cs.
Challenge now: we've got the technology, but are searching for the purpose.
RoP: return on purpose: what's the point of the exercise?
UPDATE: Is live-blogging (this post) or live-tweeting the better capture? My thoughts posted separately.