The Community Club

Discussion on: #ClubChat: How do you balance community happiness with necessary changes in your community?

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Evan Hamilton

Redditors love change so I don't have to worry about that.

/s

Redditors hate change and my life is constant complaints about changes. Here's a few things I do:

  1. Make sure you're not breaking what currently works, obviously.
  2. Think about ways to mitigate impact to existing/power users (opt outs, less aggressive advertising to them, etc).
  3. As Mac said, be as transparent as you possibly can. Reasoning, data, tradeoffs, rollout plan, etc.
  4. Repeat, repeat, repeat. You're going to need to state what you're doing and why multiple times to hammer it in.
  5. Let people try it and acclimate, but request that complaints be constructive - "THIS SUCKS" does not help anyone.
  6. Make sure you're deeply understanding complaints. Is it just change aversion? An edge case? Something else?
  7. Be willing to iterate. You might not have it right. Even small adjustments can show people you're listening.
  8. Be clear if a feature isn't for the people complaining. Often folks can't conceptualize there might be an audience that isn't them.
  9. Find and amplify advocates of the change.
  10. Know that sometimes, people just can't accept change. Don't beat yourself up. It's a job, and people can be irrational.

Best of luck!