The Community Club

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Nityesh Agarwal
Nityesh Agarwal

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How to incentivize community members to do activities that are good for your Community?

Isn't that a Holy Grail answer for all community builders?

As part of the first cohort of On Deck Community Builders fellowship, I had the opportunity to jump on a Zoom call and hear how Hila Roth does it for Waze.

In this article, I'll tell you 3 ways she incentivizes the Waze community.

Who is Hila Roth?

Hila Roth is the Head of Communities at Waze.

Waze provides turn-by-turn navigation information and user-submitted travel times and route details.

There, Hila Roth leads 50k passionate volunteers around the world as they contribute location info that helps 130M people navigate IRL.

She has talked to hundreds of Waze volunteers and asked them what motivates them.

Their Biggest Motivator?

1. Being a part of something bigger than yourself

Contributing to improve an app used by millions of people in their country is meaningful for them.

Meaningful enough that they do it for free.

Jane McGonigal deconstructs why this is meaningful in her book - Reality is Broken.

She uses it to explain why 15M gamers joined forces to achieve a nerve-tingling milestone of registering 10 billion kills against their virtual enemy, the Covenant, in the game - Halo 3.

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2. Connecting community with company

But that's not all Hila does to motivate her community:

She organizes events to allow them to meet Waze staff - product managers, engineers etc - and get a first hand account of what's happening with the product.

This lets them know that they're a part of the company.

3. Financial incentives

Besides these, Hila also uses some motivators that cost money ๐Ÿ’ธ:

  • She invites top volunteers for in-person events, paying for their travel and hotel โœˆ๏ธ ๐Ÿจ

  • She sends Waze swag to their homes - this was especially helpful during the lockdowns

One of my fellows, shared a succinct one-liner for this is a new kind of product development -

Build with people, not for people.

Follow me on Twitter. I'm sharing what I learn about community building from:

  • being a part of the prestigious On Deck fellowship for the next 8 weeks
  • building the Dataquest Community as their Community Manager

Discussion (1)

adventuresofv profile image

These are great

Ways it happens at is through:

  • badges from our gamified system
  • some compensation
  • opportunity to obtain letters of recommendation [it's a student community]
  • swag possibility
  • being featured on our social media
  • having their likeness 'osmosified' or animated in our brand style
  • being 'spotlit' or shouted out
  • leading on a leaderboard of activities
  • of course, having their voices heard via product feedback et al