Three thoughts on the future of community. Plus collected tweets and posts from various community managers.
Community Chat Weekly is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community managers.
Fill in the blank! The Community Chat team rounded up some interesting musings on community as of late. We've seen a lot of thoughts about the importance of community and the business mechanics behind why it’s so powerful for companies, so we’ve curated some of these thoughts. Enjoy.
Companies are racing to build communities. Why? Because a well-run community impacts every facet of the customer life cycle. Erik Torenberg, Founder at Village Capital encapsulates the reasoning well in this Tweet thread:
Some other powerful anecdotes from investors and thinkers about how community is redefining businesses:
When a company is able to make the transition from simply delivering a product to building a community, they unlock an extraordinary amount of competitive advantages.
– Flybridge VC Investment Thesis: The Power of Community
Community-driven companies harness the power of a highly engaged, connected, and passionate ecosystem of members to drive adoption, growth, and success.
If you're not convinced yet, then your company is probably already behind.
Come for the tool, stay for the network.
Instagram is a great example of this concept – their initial hook was innovative mobile-friendly photo filters. But then Instagram made it easy to share those photos with it's network, which of course became the preferred way to use the tool over time.
Come for the tool, stay for the network is often right, but with community there is the opportunity for companies to put this in reverse. Come for the community, stay for the tool. When a company creates a community, they have the opportunity to deliver value and trust first, and conversion to a paying customer or a tool user is secondary and often happens organically. This phenomena also provides defensibility for companies, especially when a product or software offering becomes commoditized. Community evokes an emotional and human connection as well as a feeling of belonging – something not easily replicable by solely a product offering.
"Member" > "User"
David Booth, CEO of the community On Deck has a theory that community is the new scarcity. As it becomes easier to start companies or copy competitor offerings, a passionate user base will be the differentiating factor. Ideas and resources are no longer becoming scarce, rather the people to evangelize or product or the right people to build your product. The right community can solve both of these problems.
On the other end of the spectrum, community member abundance isn't always a good thing. Not all community members are created equal. We call this community phenomenon "The Nightclub Effect," where community growth can have "reverse network effects," or detrimental impact to the whole.
This is one of our favorite Tweets on the topic:
Nightclubs are a perfect example here, as more people filter in beyond a certain point, the experience gets worse and more crowded for everybody. Conferences, elite social clubs, or overcrowded single-channel group chats on WhatsApp are other examples. Not all communities are meant to scale. # of members is usually the wrong metric, as compared activity, engagement, and satisfaction from existing members.
Too much demand? Start a waitlist or break into sub groups. Communities take time.
Community is the new __________?
What's your take? Fill in the blank, reply and let us know your thoughts!
Conference cancelled? Online community mangers to the rescue🎉
A handful of recommended readings from the past week.
Coronavirus may be growing exponentially but community professionals are adapting just as fast. This list of tips, tools, and examples for event organizers during these trying times is a must read, courtesy of our friends over at CMX.
Are community managers people pleasers? (2 min read)
Community is still relatively new as a a proper field, so it draws many professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds and personalities. But the reasons that people are so passionate about this that they field go way deeper than “I’ve always been a people person”. Read more from Erica Kuhl, Former VP of Community at Salesforce.
Community Onboarding Recap (45 min listen 🎵)
Not an article, but we’re including it anyways! Missed out on the Community Zoom Hangout this past Tuesday with Rosie Sherry discussing the onboarding process for the Indie Hackers community, featuring Chris Detzel, Blake Ethridge, and Jacob Peters. All the recordings and slide materials you need are in this Google Drive Folder – enjoy!