The Community Club

Discussion on: The Self Fulfilling Prophecy of Not Investing in Community

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chadneufeld profile image
Chad Neufeld

Great thoughts. Curious to know how you think community is different/similar/the same as other communication channels that organizations have adopted in the past (or have refused to adopt), like Twitter, chat, websites, direct mail, carrier pigeons, etc.

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alourie profile image
Alex Lourie

Some companies/organisations regard Twitter/Chat/Websites/whatever as a one-way street - literally as a simple outgoing tool in their marketing arsenal.

But what Mac implying here is actually a much more involved interaction with the "community" - that is, absolutely bilateral communication with people you interact with. Listening to your customers, and talking to them, creating events and answering Q&As, having forums/knowledge bases with answers to most common questions, and yes, support areas to answer customer/user complaints. And it's also supporting the "community" to interact with itself, that is providing a fertile environment for people to have common experiences that link back to you.

That's what many-to-many connections bring, and that's the reason that organisations with best communities win.

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chadneufeld profile image
Chad Neufeld

100% agree on all of that, I'm interested in adoption (my original post wasn't that clear 😔, my bad) of community. My day job involves convincing companies of exactly what you and Mac have outlined above, and although there is a ton of interest, it's still quite an uphill battle to move community forward in large orgs.

I am really interested in how tools used across departments have won adoption in the past and what the community industry can learn from those examples.

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alourie profile image
Alex Lourie • Edited on

I wonder what the battle would be about. Is it about an effort that's required for the two-way communication handling or is it a generic model of "what is it that we should be doing"?

As for "tools" - I think that tools that allow micro-communities to emerge (read: a team, then a department, then maybe customers, etc, ending up in a whole community sprawling up) do have a low barrier of entry and a high chance of sticking around (examples: slack, zoom, git/github/gitlab, etc). All these present a very simple opportunity for a small group to start utilising them without having to overcome a big corporate strategy pushback and developing their own "community norms".

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mac profile image
Mac Author

Community is super broad, and there's always going to be debates on communication vs community vs audience. Unlike past communication channels though, community has the power to be exponentially more powerful due to the power of building many-to-many connections.

It's no longer about communicating to your customers, but with them, and that's where community stands far above other channels.

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chadneufeld profile image
Chad Neufeld

Toooootally on the same page there. I am curious whether adoption for community is going to follow a similar pattern to other channels. The folks hanging out here are all converts and have consumed the kool-aid, but I think we can all acknowledge that the market is still not where we all expect it should be. I'm curious about whether there are relevant historic adoption patterns that we can all learn from.

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mac profile image
Mac Author

Oh 100%. That's what communityled.com/ is for, convincing the broader market.