Collectivity: If You Collect [Love] Something, Set it Free

I love words, especially new words.

Some word sound like Venn diagrams.

I’d not heard of the word “collectivity”. Thinking I may have dreamt a new word, I Googled it. No such luck!

My first impression was collectivity sounded negative, sounding like the intersection() of collecting & captivity.

Connect sprung to mind, but its “ivity” variation, Connectivity, sounds positive.

So what does collectivity mean? How collectible is an object? What is its propensity to be collected? That was my assumption. Who are the collectors, the captors? These questions  popped into my head.

I was partly right. Here’s some definitions for collectivity.

Merriam Webster

1:  the quality or state of being collective
2:  a collective whole; especially:  the people as a body

A collectivity is a group of people who think of themselves as belonging to an identifiable social unit (such as a political party). The difference between a group and a collectivity is that a collectivity does not have a regular pattern of interaction among members.


collectivity (countable and uncountableplural collectivities)

(uncountable) The condition of being collective
(countable) A body of people considered as a whole


noun (plural) -ties

the quality or state of being collective
a collective whole or aggregate
people regarded as a whole

Interesting. We think of collecting as referring to things, but it also refers to collecting people.

If You Collect Something, Set it Free

The idea that to collect something you love you have to get it free really got me thinking. In the age of sharing, how can your collect and share at the same time? collecting has a notion of hoarding. Collecting and hoarding a closely connect, but also deeply divided – I explain this in my post “Do You Question Social Media Culture? You Should“.

What does of mean to set something free, digitally? An interesting question? I thought so.

Setting something free is another form of sharing. It’s letting stuff out and letting stuff in. That got me thinking. What does it really mean to collect?

Here’s 9 lenses to help you reappraise how we view collecting in a social, collaborative world.

We often approach collecting with a solo-mindset. In my experience that’s a mistake and an oversight. Collecting is collaborative. Collecting is community.

If only I’d known about the meaning of Collectivity.

Had you heard of collectivity? Did you know about it’s meaning as a group?

What’s even more interesting I believe Collectivity is derived from the French word Collectivité, which means Community.

This all makes so much sense.

Which brings me back full circle.

I love words.



NIck Kellet (130 Posts)

Nick’s ventures range from a visual segmentation tool sold to SAP, to an award winning board game. Today, Nick is co-founder of Listly, raising the profile of lists to be on par with Slideshare & YouTube.