Holiday edition! Community Book list, New Years Community Resolutions
CCW (Community Chat Weekly) is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community leaders.
New Year, new community. What are your biggest plans and goals for your community in 2020?
Last week's question was "How do you track community engagement and what metrics do you use to measure it?"
12 of you replied across Slack, Discord, and our newsletter, and our favorite response was from Chris, community manager at GoingVC. He has an 8 robust point measurement framework including a biannual survey, tracking Slack messages sent, as well as event attendance and satisfaction levels.
Feel free to reply directly to this email, or join our Slack community (linked at the bottom of the email) to chat with us and other community builders.
The Community Chat Team thought it would be fun to put together a holiday community reading list. Need a gift for a family member, a fellow community manager, or yourself? Look no further.
Don't worry, we are **NOT* in the gift guide pay for play game. No affiliate links here, just four great books on community building.*
By Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, and Kai Elmer Sotto
Hot off of the Stripe press, Get Together is all about finding ways to build community with others as opposed to for others. "Nearly every challenge of building a community can be met by asking yourself, “How do I achieve this by working with my people, not doing it for them?”
By Priya Parker
In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker explains how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience. She investigates a wide array of community gatherings, from conferences, to meetings, to courtrooms, to parties, and more.
By Radha Agrawal
A book about finding the right communities to join to become your fullest self. “Read this book, do what it says, and discover exactly where you fit in.” — John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market
By Jono Bacon
A deep and thoughtful exploration into online community building – covering communities on open source software, supporting a charitable cause, or creating a forum for your customers. Jono Bacon is a leading community strategist, consultant, and speaker.
There was a fantastic discussion on community building over on Hacker News this week. Here's four of the best takeaways to consider if you're thinking about starting something new next year:
Start with a purpose and be clear about why people should join. A "community" should already exist, in the sense the need for members to get together should already be top of mind – you are just creating the missing platform they never had.
Engagement is key. Make sure that there is enough perceived critical mass. Encourage your early users to post, post A LOT yourself, use fake accounts if needed, and only create sub-forums and additional channels once the original channels are lively with activity.
Start by inviting those close to you in your network, and then encourage your first few users to do the same. This close-knit initial seeding sets you up for the network to balloon later. This idea comes from an engineer at Twitter that helped them get the first 500 users on the platform.
You can try bootstrap a new community by creating a "backchannel." For example, we've seen a lot of subreddit's branch off into successful Discord communities.
Friendly reminder that community managers are people too.
Community can attract new users and limit churn of existing customers – it is the ultimate moat.
On traditional creative mediums like podcasts and newsletters, creators have a one-on-one relationship with their subscribers. With a community, subscribers have access to each other.
When it comes to starting a community, there is a dizzying array of potential platform choices and options. A great discussion on some of the reasons why there is hasn't been 'one dominant platform to rule them all.'
A handful of recommended readings from the past week.
Community Engineering (2 minute read)
If a digital or physical product is surrounded by a helpful community, you’re more likely to find it useful and “rehire” it. This short guide has a few about things to consider when designing and building a group of people around your company.
Critical Lessons in Startup Community Building (7 min read)
“Communities feel magical, but they don't appear out of nowhere." A practical guide on community building for your startup by the folks at First Round Ventures.