The Community Club

Discussion on: Building Community...what platform to use??

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Peter Fayle

Hey Jason. Many people here who've thought this through far more than I have and I've not used all the tools you mention, but I'll share my thoughts as I've been mulling this over recently.

Based on your description I'm guessing that the main community activities would be discussions with fast responses - around a specific event or opportunity - more than gradually building up a knowledge base. At the same time, with an industry network you might anticipate having many members who would log into a specific platform less frequently but wouldn't want to feel they were missing out because of the fast pace of activity.

If that's accurate then a mix of a curated newsletter and a chat system like Facebook or Slack sounds like it'll get your early community quite far. Depending on the number of active members, the free Slack limits may be more than you need to keep recent conversations available. If many of your users already like using a shared platform like Facebook then hooking into that may be better than going for something with more bells and whistles.

My needs have been more around building community knowledge, so I've been looking at solutions like Forem (this community's platform) and Twist, where the chat is designed to be less ephemeral.

If you've got particular goals for the community (I've focused here on giving different types of member a user-friendly experience) or you'd benefit from certain types of user-tracking then that could also inform your choice.

Hope that helps 🙂