The Community Club

Discussion on: Curating content from other communities to build a... community

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Alex Angel

Hey Josh! Great question, and one that is definitely top of mind for us right now.

Getting communities started from the ground up requires a few different strategies. Sometimes one method will work for some communities, other times it won't... so it's definitely good to have a number of different approaches in your back pocket if you notice one of your methods isn't as effective as you'd have hoped!

I think part of it is definitely leading by example. You know how you want your community to operate, so you should be one of the folks leading the charge by sharing and creating content, participating in other people's posts, and overall just acting in a way that is able to be emulated by others. You'll definitely need to do a lot of hands-on work that isn't scalable, but that's what us community builders love doing (...right?? :D). You can also tap into people who you know are already invested in your community and have them help kick things off.

You should ask yourself (and the people already invested in your community) what is important for your community, too. What content is interesting, why they will want to join and participate, what people will get out of it, etc. If you have a basic understanding of what people want, you can ensure that there is content to draw people in and keep them engaged.

Looking forward to hearing other people's thoughts on this!

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Josh Rozin Author

Oh yeah! Definitely agree.

You know, I had this thought where community building should be enabled by systems but completely forgot about the hand-on work you mentioned that gives those systems that push. It's awesome that you touched on emphasizing behaviours by yourself in a way that's emulatable (new word?). Alright, so! This gives me some ground work for a plan to explore. Thank you so much for giving this thoughtful reply!

Side note: It's very cool that we'll both be building communities side by side.

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Alex Angel

I think the hands-on touch is really important for community building at all stages. Offloading processes to systems is fine if you're at a place where it makes sense for your community's stage (e.g. if you have a well-established community with tons of members and other people helping with moderation and engagement, or if it's something simple like routine threads, newsletters, or social media), but once communities lose that high-touch feeling a bit of the magic is gone and (at least in my opinion) it's hard to get back.

Definitely looking forward to seeing how your community-building journey evolves, you're going to develop some great insights that I'd love to hear!