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Community Management During COVID | CCW #44

Community Club Weekly
Issue #44 | September 24, 2020

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

This week's post is brought to you by Carter Gibson!

Don't forget to take our Community Job & Salary survey if you haven't already! It's completely anonymous and the full report will be available soon.

😬 Community Management Gone Right (and Wrong) Amid Coronavirus

Competent communities can thrive in spite of pandemics, racial tensions, natural disasters, and political fervor — but not all succeed. Just when we thought we couldn’t be any more reliant on our screens, phones, and keyboards, they became the only ways we had to communicate with each other. Brands saw the opportunity, but too often they prioritize engagement over healthy communities.

That isn’t always top of mind though. As engagement and conversion remain priorities — and as competition reaches fever pitches — Community Management can be an afterthought. But not everywhere!

Here are two winners and two losers of community during Covid:

Loser: Nvidia's Graphics Card Fiasco

If you’re not as nerdy as I am, you may not know that the RTX 3080 is the mostest awesomest graphics card available today. Well, it was supposed to be available. What happened was that bots almost immediately scooped up the entire supply as gaming sees increased demand during Coronavirus.

If you head over to Nvidia’s forums, you’ll find a bunch of threads without answers from a CM. Instead of engaging their audience in their own threads, Nvidia chose a (presumably) more scalable approach by posting their own post interviewing… themselves. Full of defensive corp-speak and self-congratulatory call outs that contradict their community’s experience, this “smart, scalable” solution to answer as many people as possible backfired.

Winner: Reddit's Hate Ban

Reddit is no stranger to op-eds and Medium posts. 2020 hasn’t been different. One thing Reddit has consistently struggled with has been ongoing concerns about hateful content on their platform. Addressing this issue head on, Reddit released a hateful content transparency report. In it, they explain how banning ~7k subcommunities (subreddits) removed 17% of Reddit’s hateful content.

Unlike Nvidia, Reddit knows that forthcoming language goes a long way to earn trust. By talking openly about an extremely difficult topic the community team over at Reddit was able to tangibly show that they took their users’ safety seriously. They could back up their, “We care,” with not only real effort, but real results.

Winner: Nextdoor Wants Your Good Neighbor Pledge

Nextdoor, a social media app for your immediate neighbors and city-friends, took steps to do just that as uncertainty around Coronavirus rules reached a fever pitch. As a reaction, Nextdoor launched their ‘Good Neighbor Pledge’. Before being able to post to the stream or comment, users must agree to a series of quick statements that reinforce critical parts of Nextdoor’s community guidelines.

Choosing to interrupt your users is not a decision products should take likely. But Nextdoor understood that tensions were high and that for guidelines to be meaningful, people had to see them. By putting emphasis on a collective agreement, Nextdoor was able to give teeth to their ‘Good Neighbor Pledge’ which would otherwise be buried in an overflow menu or email inbox.

These interstitials, though simple, take confidence.

Loser: LinkedIn Unmoderated Racial Justice Town Hall

LinkedIn held a Town Hall following the murder of George Floyd. This meeting, which had 9k employees attend, hosted a stream that allowed employees to ask questions. This stream was not moderated in any way — even though the topics being discussed were sensitive. Some comments that came through were outright racist and hateful.

That said, it’s admirable that LinkedIn cared enough about its employees’ wellbeing to host this event. Even though LinkedIn gets an ‘L’ here, their swift and blunt response to the incident deserves some credit. A quick and direct condemnation of this behavior is the best possible reaction. However, it didn’t have to happen if LinkedIn took precautions to be able to prevent this in the rare case it happened. Because it did.


Managing communities should be a prideful, exciting exercise for brands with a clear identity. It will probably be a painful activity for unsure spaces still figuring out their purpose. But whether it’s painful or fun, taking time to define the norms of communal spaces is a compassionate exercise. Reducing the cognitive burden from users by answering how they can have the best experience is a kind endeavor.

Check out Carter's full blog post here!

📆 Upcoming Events

Upcoming events, from the club and its members.

AMA with Carter Gibson - Thursday, September 24 at 3pm EST (that's today!)

CMX Summit 2020 - October 6 - 7

🐦 Community Tweets

Specific to gaming, but also true to all community jobs

Reply to this email if you want Community Club stickers!

Some interesting things about community in this report

An awesome no-code community program from Makerpad!

📚 Community Reading List

Community blog posts and articles from the past week.

Community Management Gone Right (and Wrong) Amid Coronavirus
An in-depth look at companies who have done a good (and bad) job managing their communities during the pandemic.
By Carter Gibson

Why Community Belongs at the Center of Today's Remote Work Strategies
By Dion Hinchcliffe

Post-Social Media
The future of community online, an excellent report from co-matter.
By co-matter

🙌 Community Jobs

A handful of open roles from our community!

Community Engagement Coordinator @ The Community Arts Stabilization Trust

Various Community Roles @ NEAR

Business Development Manager @ Chaordix

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