I have to admit to being a bit of a Star Trek fan. Okay, more than just a bit of a fan…don’t ask me for pictures. I find it “fascinating” that the Star Trek brand has been able to be successful for so many years. Those in control of the brand adapt, update the image and encourage feedback from and interaction with the fans/constituents. While some fans are fanatic supporters, there are plenty of detractors. Many are convinced they have stories and plot lines that would be wildly successful. All fans are encouraged to participate…occasionally in person, but even more importantly, online. Huge virtual communities of Star Trek faithful have developed and the members of these communities continue to interact with each other even though there is no current Star Trek series on television and no new Star Trek movie coming to theaters any time soon. Syracuse University is even offering a Star Trek class where students study Star Trek science and communication. Star Trek fans have found common ground and the corporate leaders at the top of the Star Trek universe are encouraging those connections to the financial benefit of their bottom line.
For me, the lesson learned is simple. While most of us like our space, some more than others, we all value contact and connection. Humans are social creatures and will find a way to connect to other people whether they are online or around the corner regardless of the context. The trick seems to be discovering ways to leverage those connections to help us all “live long AND prosper.”