The Community Club

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The Community Club

#ClubChat: How did you originally get into community?

alex profile image Alex Angel ・1 min read

Riddle me this

This week's question:

How did you originally get into community? This is a standard question we ask AMA guests, and it's something we love hearing from anyone who's willing to tell us. Everyone has such unique paths into community (both professionally and casually), and so many of us have found ourselves here more or less by accident.

Discussion

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Alex Angel Author

I first realized my love of online communities in 2004 via guilds on Kingdom of Loathing. Though I had routinely hung out in AOL chat rooms in the late '90s and early '00s, it never felt like a tight-knit group of people that I would consider friends. With KoL it was different, and it got me interested in building relationships with people online and moderating online spaces.

I started moderating a couple small subreddits in '09/'10 and loooved it, and when I saw that reddit had an opportunity to join the team as a community manager I reached out and they took a flyer on me. I honestly had no idea what a community manager did at that point in time, but I was up for the challenge and am so glad that I dove in head first.

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Cindy Au

oh my god, I used to love playing KoL!

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Alex Angel Author

Ahhh amazing!! Do you still have an account?

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Cindy Au

I think I do but I haven't used it in years (my username was Freethrow...long story). I used to love the Crimbo surprises! And meat!

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Alex Angel Author

Hey, no judgement on usernames here. Mine is cupcake1713 😂

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Mac

Gaming definitely was my start - playing games like Runescape, Age of Mythology, and then Minecraft online, making friends, and joining various communities. I didn't consciously realize I was 'into community' until my early 20s though, after finally understanding how community and Minecraft had intertwined into the work I was doing at the time.

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Ben Halpern

I think team sports played a big part for me. I played football on teams of upwards of 100 players (football teams are really big) and it's a really interesting dynamic that taught me a lot about community.

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Steven Hylands

Mine came by chance. I sent out a tweet 18 months ago looking for help to build out a climate tech project. I got replies from ~30 people interested in helping, but I only needed the help of a couple of people.

It made me realise there were a lot of folks out there with a desire to help with the climate crisis. So I decided to try and help them connect with a Slack community — Impact Makers.

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MARTHA ESSIEN

I was into social media management and all, then I got a job to be a social media manager at a digital marketing firm.

1 month after, the creative director walked up to me and said "You're a Community Manager not a social media manager, work towards that."

I basically wandered for the first 6 months, clarity came in the 7th month 😁

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Jill Ross

In 2004, while I was still in college, I was working for a sailboat rental club where members paid monthly dues that they could apply to boat rentals. I built an online forum for members to connect and find sailing partners to share rental fees, book classes together, etc. It eventually moved over to Facebook when FB for business became more mainstream. I had no idea that this was community building at the time, nor did I realize the impact the community had on revenue.

Fast forward to my first marketing gig at a tech company in 2009... I proposed and got approval for a customer community that I built from ground zero and thus launched my community career.