The Community Club

Discussion on: Issues with managing real time chat communities

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mmohammed profile image
Mohamed

I worked as a Mod on social media platform meant for university students and it had a live chat element to it. I did wonder the same thing as folks from Australia were logging in after the UK members were done for the day. It's a tricky one, honestly. I did end up spending hours following real time convos at breakneck speeds and yeah, the pile ups are a familiar site too.

For Slack, I wonder if there's a bot that can greet folks who login, letting them know how many folks are online at that time?

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lingxiao profile image
Xiao Ling

@Mohamed how often do students actually partake in the live chat component of this channel? And when they do what do they talk about that cannot be communicated by text.

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mmohammed profile image
Mohamed

They mostly logged on during the evenings and the occasional early afternoon. Everything they talk about, absolutely everything, could be discussed via text. In fact, we often had users sharing WhatsApp group info with each other. However, when you've got over 500,000 people registered on a platform, even 0.5% of that number logged on and participating at any given time makes for a nightmare when it comes to moderation.

Personally, I think the students on the platform saw it as something new and shiny. They showed up to find out who else was going to their university (the platform had channels and sub channels for every university in the UK and a few in the US as well) and stayed to chat because it was easy to sign on and get talking in a public chat room.

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lingxiao profile image
Xiao Ling

That's an incredible use case, honestly I feel like there is something there if it's properly managed. Is there a notion of breakout rooms? It would do a lot in terms of containing conversations. If the room is small enough people will constrain each other's behavior. Many startups have tried this concept but so far nothing is compelling in so far as I can tell.

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mmohammed profile image
Mohamed • Edited on

Unfortunately, the business went under a few mere months after I left. They'd been heading in that direction for a while. They had largely slacked on running ads on the platform, which was fine were it not for the equal lack of alternative revenue. They had an idea, a good one, but no way to translate it into actual money. As a Mod, it felt like we were aiming for engagement as a success point in and of itself, which was why the Community team largely saw that downfall coming and started leaving one by one.

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lingxiao profile image
Xiao Ling

Oh that's so unfortunate. From a space standpoint, colleges are co-working spaces that also act as a managed marketplaces for recruIting, so there's an obvious missed opportunity here beyond another ad page. I'm working on a similar use case, could I reach out to you and hear more about your experience over Zoom? It seems like there's so much to be learned here.

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mmohammed profile image
Mohamed

Yes, of course. I'd be happy to help and answer any questions I can!

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lingxiao profile image
Xiao Ling

awesome I just dm'ed you