Slack communities take on an invisible enemy, and more weekly news from community world
Community Chat Weekly is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community managers.
We’re hosting a completely virtual community summit in June! The Community Chat Summit is a gathering of community builders helping each other navigate the world of community building by sharing resources, strategies, and best practices.
No need to spend $1,000s on travel or take time off, just bring your desire to learn and network with other community builders! Interested in speaking at the summit? Let us know!
🦠 Community comes together against Covid-19
As physical events grind to a halt and social distancing becomes the norm, digital community engagement is skyrocketing 🚀
Slack is one of the most popular digital platforms for companies that host online community initiatives. So it's been no surprise that many are turning to this asynchronous chat tool of choice for information sharing and human connection during these difficult times.
But companies aren't the only ones doubling down on their Slack and digital community presences right now. Teams of doctors, hospital administrators, and other medical professionals from across the globe are organically gathering in private Slack communities to discuss treatment protocols, facilities checklists, and share information at a scale never before possible.
Slack communities of engineers and entrepreneurs are also forming in response to the global health crisis, such as this "Covid Accelerator" where people are collaboratively prototyping technology solutions to Covid-related problems. There are also Slack communities being created to act as support networks for workers laid off as a result of Covid19's economic impact.
Slack has even become the hyper-local digital community-platform of choice for every-day citizens mobilizing in response to the pandemic. Communities in small towns across the US and Europe are spinning up public Slack groups to chat about local news updates and testing program logistics.
Covid precautions have also been a hot topic in many large developer and B2B professional Slack communities that have existed for years (At least according to Jacob from the CCW Team, who is in 149 Slack communities. Yes, you read that right.)
It's never been easier to mobilize large groups of people in a shared digital space before.
And Slack hasn't been blind to the significant uptick in usage – check out this statement from company CEO Stewart Butterfield:
If you’re working on #COVID19 research, response, or mitigation and @slackhq can help in any way, email email@example.com. Free upgrades to paid plans, setting up a consultation for remote collaboration best practices: we got you. Even socially distant, we’re all in this together.
The company is offering free upgrades and complimentary support assistance for all Slack communities related to the Covid19-fighting effort 👏
Slack was already a hugely popular way for digital communities to organize pre-Covid19, so it is to be determined how permanent any new enhanced usage will be. A hastily set up Slack community without longstanding value can also be quickly abandoned. Perhaps not all Slack communities are meant to last forever.
In other Slack news, the communication tool is releasing some awesome new updates to their platform that many Slack community members and Slack workspace users will be experiencing very soon!
Being stuck indoors can have it's downsides. Digital events are great but here are three fun things to share with your community members
1️⃣ Quarantine Chat
A community of strangers stuck at home. The app will call you at a random time, and after a brief moment on hold, you'll match with another random person for a phone conversation. You don't have to pick up if you're busy—your partner will be automatically matched with someone else. And you can join and leave the line whenever you'd like. Another similar community matching service is Lunchclub, which normally pairs people for 1:1 coffee meetings in major cities – but has gone completely virtual and video-based as of this week.
A way to watch Netflix with your friends or fellow community members, at the same time! It synchronizes video playback, and also has a live group chat. But beware, apparently the abnormally high demand for streaming services like Netflix from those staying indoors has created a lot of slowdowns and bandwidth issues for internet service providers.
What better way to pass the time indoors than by reading a book? We'll tell you – being a part of a private book club Slack community 📚Speaking of books, have you checked out our growing Community Chat Resource Library? Here are some of our team's favorite books on community building.
❓ Question of the Week
How has coronavirus impacted the community you manage?
Reply with your thoughts on the QOTW for a chance to be featured in next weeks email.
Share your story and we'll feature it in next week's issue. Reply and let us know your thoughts!
A handful of recommended readings from the past week.
The new social networks (4 min read)
Easily one of the best reads on the future of community and community business models that the Community Chat Team has read in awhile. Venture Capitalist [Sari Azout]9https://twitter.com/sariazout) explores some of the drivers behind the shift to private groups, the viability of new community business models, and the importance that community will have on our future world. Strap in for some great tasting 'community brain food.'
Managing Coronavirus discussion in your community (3 min read)
It is inevitable – everyone is talking about it. Digital communities across the world, regardless of the purpose or topic, are grappling with a surge of discussion and debate around the virus and its effects on daily life. While it’s important to give your community members space to engage in topics that are meaningful to them, it’s equally important to protect your community from paranoia and unnecessary worry. Read this article for some tips on managing any spread of unhelpful or uncivil Coronavirus chatter in your community.
"Minimum viable product" is taking on a whole new meaning. With the rise of the no-code tool movement and tools like Webflow, Airtable and Notion allowing people to build products more quickly and simply than before – some startups are taking this a step further and using WhatsApp groups for all of their customer acquisition and user communication needs. It’s cheaper and more accessible than ever to launch a community group chat that can quickly reach millions and solve real problems.