The Community Club

Discussion on: We are the Forem Team, Ask Us Anything!

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peter profile image
Peter Ask Me Anything

After writing this out, I think it makes sense under three headers.

New Communities:

I think a common mistake which impacts growth out of the gate is having an "if you build it they will come attitude." IE, your community may be useful at a certain scale, but it's not useful for that initial set of early users, so you can't actually get to that inflection point.

Sometimes, communities will build for "single player mode" by having great content, useful tools, etc. There's an essay called "Come for an Action, Stay for the Community" which expands on this idea.

Budding Communities:

I think that something that can inhibit growth of a budding community is losing focus on the basics of what your community wants and why they're here. It's easy to think that the key to unlocking new growth will be building more and more killer features, but that's rarely the silver bullet.

More often, you need to stay focused on the basics, listen closely to your community, do things that don't necessarily scale, and ensure you're truly serving the community and their needs.

Established Communities:

Lastly, what can "kill" an established community? I think that corrupting the trust with a community can be tough to recover from, especially when that's paired alongside a formidable competitor.

The sudden fall of Digg comes to mind. IIRC, they took on some very aggressive marketing campaigns which made their userbase feel like "the product," while at the same time Reddit was coming up with a better alternative.

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slouischarles profile image
Sherad Louis-Charles

Thanks for this write-up! It'll surely be useful especially the parts on focusing on the basics and avoiding aggressive marketing. Thank you!