The Community Club

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

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Nicholas Tolstoshev

Involve them in the process. And not just once you've decided everything. They are co-owners of your community so you need them in the room where it happens, to quote Hamilton.

For example, we were considering a forum platform change at Webroot. I let the power users know we were considering this. When I got trials of the platforms we were considering, I got all of the power users on there to kick the tires and give their feedback. I took their questions back to the sales engineers for answers. And if they collectively hated the platform, I listened and struck it from the list.

I was open with them on the pros and cons of changing, and other factors like price. They're smart enough to understand the trade-offs and why you might need a cheaper platform to meet your budget even if that means losing some things.

If you're not deciding things together with your community, you don't have a community, you have a dictatorship.