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The Community Club Team
The Community Club Team

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Can communities grow too quickly? Community Chat Weekly #18

Can communities grow too quickly? Community Chat Weekly #18

Community growing pains, getting started in community and more from the world of community this week.

Community Chat Weekly is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community managers.

❓ Question of the Week

What growth strategies do you use to spread the word about your community?

Last week's question was "What characteristics make a market, a theme, or an industry attractive to build a community around? What is the community 'primordial soup'?"

We πŸ’™the response from Andy Mcllwain, Head of Community at GoDaddy:

"I look for a 'community archetype fit,' meaning is there an identifiable alignment to a community of:

  • Purpose = all working towards a common cause

  • Profession = all working in a similar role

  • Place = share same geographic area of living / work

  • Interest = same hobbies and personal pursuits

  • Circumstance = all experiencing, or have experienced the same thing.

So, within any given market/industry/business/organization one must ask if there is alignment to any one of these? And are there existing communities/community groups? If not, is there enough need and desire within potential members to connect other people like them?"

☝️ The State of Startups for Community

First Round Ventures recently released a research report about the state of startups, with a big emphasis on community-building. They found that community initiatives are increasingly becoming top of mind for founders, with almost 30% stating that it is mission critical to their moat and business success.

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πŸ“ˆ Can communities grow too quickly?

This is a question that the Community Chat Team has heard time and time again. If communities grow too quickly, is the feeling of camaraderie lost? In the same vein as 'any publicity is good publicity,' some community managers say that 'all growth is good growth.' In last week's issue of CCW, we explored how The Dunbar Number affects how many meaningful relationships a community member can realistically have.

According to Hunter Walk, Former Head of Product at Google, "there are a number of dynamics which factor into the carrying capacity of an existing community to absorb newbies. Product designers and communities themselves will build in techniques to manage this scaling – for example, a hardcoded onboarding tutorial when you start an app or even the pinned note at the top of subreddit which spells out the rules of engagement and FAQ. Sometimes incentives will be explicitly and implicitly baked into a community to encourage successful absorption of new members."

It is also important to remember that not all community growth is created equal. David Spinks, Head of Community at CMX says that "The right first 10 core community members are better than the wrong first 1,000." (We know this is before the community Tweet section, but we just couldn't resist!)

What community management processes do you have in place to account for community growth?

🐦 This week in the community Twitter world...


Community = Lower customer acquisition cost and higher lifetime value

Community resource list alert!

A community stat to remember.

Community can't exist in a silo, it must be aligned to business goals.

πŸ“ Blog Posts

A handful of recommended readings from the past week.

Building Audience-First Products (5 min read)

Writer David Perell says there's a new way to test the feasibility of a business idea: (1) build an audience, (2) build a product around that audience, (3) scale the solution with community feedback.

Getting Started in Community Management (4 min read)

A five strep process from the CMX team on getting started in community management. Must read for those new to the field or looking to break into the space!

Community Members Speak: Biggest Online Community Annoyance! (3 min read)

What annoys community members the most about an online community? Read to find out the common frustration points that many of them share.

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