Community Building September 19, 2020

Do chat-based communities actually work?

Esteban Saa @steban

I joined a few slack and telegram based "communities". In every case, I read for a few days and forget about them. What are your experiences with chat-based communities? It seems to me that threads make a lot more sense.

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    I don't realize why people create communities before creating a valuable product & building an audience. I that that's like putting the cart before the horse.

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      You may be wrong here. Creating a community or even just a newsletter, greatly reduces the chance of failure.

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        I think he actually touched an important point but made it in a confusing manner
        "create communities before building an audience"
        often the "building an audience" is mixed within the "create community", but the things is at the start the community is almost soley the creator...

        a newsletter is not a community, it's an author -> reader relationship
        the readers don't cross communicate

    2. 1

      Hmm disagree - i built a community first (pub meetups & then a Slack group to stay in touch) for ~year for content marketers

      The value was the community in & of itself - facililatating casual 1:1 connections with similar people. Started with 6 of us in a pub

  2. 4

    Never saw someone said "I did this, thanks to the X community", "I couldn't do this without Y community" except its marketer.

    I firmly believe those should work but somehow they all turns into link-dumps, rants and idk nothing else. I never experienced paid ones but I can imagine how it looks.

    When I think it through and why I stick with some and not others, I'd say these communities seeks for numbers a lot. More people = more success, but it's not. It's only possible when it gathers like-minded people on similar levels.

    It doesn't make sense to put two people to the same table. One looking for his first subscriber and another looking for sponsors for his 10k subscribed product. They have nothing to share, 10k one maybe enlighten the others but he can't. He is still trying to figure out his way out. All he can do is providing his previous experience, which is not necessarily work for others.

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      I think it totally depends on the type of community. I run a writing community and we've 100% had people say that. They've received support and editing for their writing and feel that they couldn't have done it without it.

      You are spot on in saying more people does not mean more success. It needs a slow growth to stay valuable so that members get to know each other before it gets too big.

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        your right, but I think creative like writting would be more the exception and not the rule.
        most to do things don't scale the same, and people don't use the same methodoligies and tools in different scales of projects.

        maybe it is a creative vs technical divide the more I think about trying to scope it. in creatives a lot of times a first timer might not only be equal but might be supprior in some things as he doesn't have as much past load...
        while technical skills change with time, size, complexity and other parameters, answers of it depends are more common if context lacks :shrug:

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        Agreed, I overly generalized it with my past experience.

  3. 2

    I mostly depends on the type of community. I actually run a community for writers and we use Slack (for now). It actually works perfect.

    Writing is unique in that there's not a lot of chatter/back and forth, and all the members are working on something outside of the community that they want to bring in to the community (an essay, newsletter, etc.) for review. That not only keeps it active and engaging, but it keeps it from being overwhelming. It's the perfect balance.

    One thing that I would also recommend, if you're a community builder, is Geneva. I have absolutely no affiliation with Geneva, just like the product. It has "rooms" instead of channels, and you can make one room a chat room (like Slack) and one room a post room (like Facebook). It's got the best of both worlds.

  4. 2

    Tricky one, I have similar experiences, but I do know that JT's No Code Founder community is doing well, for example, and he used that to propel a product. I think it may work if you leverage the audience quickly for product creation; otherwise, it's quite challenging to keep people's attention span.

    But to add a bit of nuance, creating a community out of your target audience does generate a pool of early adopters to work with which is the best way to get a strong backing behind your product from early on.

  5. 1

    I tried to create community with slack, facebook group & linkedin group. The one which is working the best is surprisingly linkedin.
    I think that the indexation of the community is important factor for the success. There is no search engine to look for relevant slack channels, but you have some search bar integrated in linkedin & facebook.

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    This comment was deleted 6 days ago.

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      I feel exactly the same.

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      I totally agree. It's so hard to follow and gain insights when there's a continuous feed of text or images.

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