The Community Club

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

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r_silvano profile image
Rachael

I'm on board with what others have suggested, especially transparency. People don't like feeling like they are the last ones to know or that it's too late to have a say.

I found two other interesting adaptations that have happened in our product Community. One is that members will come to us and say "hey we think this change should happen", which really is the dream to be able to say "you're so right!" (when applicable) and be responsive to the positive change suggested.

The second is taking time to really explore together what the future could look like. One change we've taken on (a bit of an aside) is that our Community members really....like email? So a change in our journey was to embrace that more, lean into "hey we'll email you more!" and everyone is the better for it. So sometimes the discomfort comes in us shedding some of our notions of what best practices may be and listening to what our members are needing from us.

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alex profile image
Alex Angel Author

Love these examples of working with the community to make changes. If you're able to speak to it at all, how did you end up figuring out that your members wanted more emails? What was that process like internally once that idea was on the table (did you have to work with other teams to make it a reality, was there any convincing that needed to be done, etc)?

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r_silvano profile image
Rachael

Happy to share! To answers backwards for the internal process- we're lucky that our team can be pretty agile within the Community, our platform allows us to change up how many emails we send, and we can make that decision as a Community team more or less (which is rad).

We also have a group of SuperUser/Beta members who we call Founders. At times they can either really step up for engaging or slink away. So usually once a quarter we'll say "soooooo we haven't heard from you in a while..." and then give three or four prompts of what we could try to do to help. What came from that is people saying "we think the Community is super valuable, but we don't often make the plunge of logging in and checking out everything new. When we're pinged through email it brings it top of mind and we love that!".

I also think we live in a great space in our Community, where our members trust us enough to be honest and transparent. So generally when we ask, we ask with the intent to listen and our members share with the intent of being heard!

...this makes me think of a course talking about the process of Prototyping and feedback. A big part of it was to work with your prototype without inserting too much emotional stake in it. While email clutter drives me bananas, it's just how a lot of our members get their work done. I like the idea of thinking about Community as a series of Prototypes. Maybe they respond to AMAs in an unexpectedly big turnout, or maybe your Show & Tells are ghost towns and need to be retired because your members just don't find them valuable.

Apologies for the tangent, but super fun to think about :)

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alex profile image
Alex Angel Author

No apology necessary, this was great. The framing of community as a series of prototypes is interesting and a neat way to think about it--I personally think of engagement initiatives like those as experiments, with a hypothesis/desired outcome, results, and a decision (among other things).