Community Building September 17, 2020

🧐 Prove me wrong...

Felix Wong @felix12777

This is happening in many communities or chat groups. And it hurts the engagement.

There are three types of people:

70% - Distribute survey. This is how they conduct customer verification. Copy and paste + link + wait for a reply.

25% - Silent most of the time. Only talk when there are events or things to promote, and never give before taking.

5% - True contributors and facilitators. They will bring up regular conversations and share valuable insights.

Unofficial data and observations based on 5 Whatsapp groups, 5 Slack channels, 5 online communities, and more than 15 Facebook groups that I am involved in.

Keen to hear your thoughts...

How might we empower more contributors and facilitators?

How might we accommodate more like-minded people in the community?

How might we create a safe environment where individuals can share and learn?

  • many more how might weeeeeeee
  1. 4

    Pretty much. Though percentages will vary.

    For IH it's something like:
    5% true contributors
    80% lurkers
    15% posting things (selfishly) and not engaging in further things.

    This is why I love the idea of paid communities these days. People are there because they want to contribute and with respect.

    1. 2

      I signed up for a paid community a few weeks ago and totally regret it. I wish I could get a refund.

      This community, Indie Hackers, is FAR superior.

      1. 1

        Not all paid communities are great, I’ve regretted one or two. But the good ones are great.

        1. 1

          Hey, I'm building Coulf a private community for indie product makers and founders. It'd help me build better if you share what made you regret the two? Is it the platform, the members, spam?

          @Primer I could get some help from you too. Why do you regret that community you joined? I'm up for a chat over email as well, if that's ok.

          1. 0

            Hard to put a pin in it but I guess a fair summary would be to say that the level of engagement and quality of discussion were either the same as or less than the IH community. Probably less than in both counts if I’m honest.

            I didn’t feel at all motivated to participate simply because I paid money. However I’m weird so maybe not the greatest case study.

            1. 0

              Thanks for the summary. I could relate to this because I have been in such communities as well. 100+ members yet no discussions or any engagement, but that's no surprise when the admin only links out to posts of other sites and forums. Do you happen to know what community platform it was on?

              1. 0

                As I said it's not for me. I'm not dissing it - it's just not a fit for me. It was https://indiestack.co

                1. 1

                  I’m sorry to hear that @Primer but I’ve honestly not seen you on the Discord or the Fourms.

                  To rebuttal, the forums and Discord are honestly very active. As many of the members have said in their testimonials.

                  We’ve also added a new custom feature to track projects and project updates.

                  I’d love to have you message me privately with your concerns. Since this is the first time I’m hearing something bad. Let’s talk!

                  1. 0

                    Sorry man as I clearly said - I'm not dissing, it's just not for me.

                    1. 1

                      No worries that’s understandable! Let’s take this convo privately to work it out 😊

                      But just clarify the forums and chat are quite active. Especially the chat. There’s conversations happening literally all the time. If anyone’s interested in a trial run of IndieStack, let me know! I’ll show you how amazing it is!

                2. 0

                  Yes, I understand, thanks for the link. Hope you'll get your refund.

        2. 0

          Is there any way we can have a Glassdoor / Yelp for communities. Any thoughts @rosiesherry @Primer

          1. 0

            I don’t see why not. It wouldn’t be difficult to build.

            Is that my next project? Maybe!

            1. 1

              Launch in 12 hours this time :) @Primer

              1. 1

                Challenge accepted

  2. 3

    It's a difficult one. Many people do not post and comment because they think there is nothing to add. They don't have own opinion or they are afraid to comment because 'big boys and girls' are part of the conversation. They do not want to look stupid. I guess the question would be how do we empower them? And because they don't post and comment they never realise that actually IH is really friendly community. I think I had only one time that someone commented 'Whaaaat? Are you out of your mind?' haha. something along the lines. haha.

    1. 1

      Completely agree with you on this.

  3. 3

    I wanted to have a post about this issue but didn't really know an appropriate message.

    In my opinion, posts that share insights got less attention and engagement (vs random question, links). The people who share insights slowly lose interest in engaging with the community.
    (where are half of the people that share great stuff a 6 months ago? maybe busy, maybe lost interest)

    It could be the insights are not valuable enough.
    It's hard to find though, except ones that everyone already shares.

    Besides great effort from organizers (podcast, building community, the 5%), I think IH is still defining the actual value.

    Don't get me wrong, I love IH. I hope we can do better!

    1. 1

      I observed something interesting: being in different time zones also affects engagement on posts.

      1. 1

        I think it does affect sometimes, but not so bad.

        Is the different really big?

        1. 2

          Posting when it's daytime in the US usually gets you more comments, upvotes. The majority of the IH community is from there (prove me wrong 😉). Also it helps your post not getting lost in the general clutter.

  4. 2

    Many people frequently switch between those 3 categories depending on their mood and circumstances. I can be in the 25% when I take a break from all social media for a few weeks, then in the 5% until I feel that I should be doing more work and less talking.

    Some of us jut like to read, learn and be entertained - some business ideas are really side-splitting entertainment.

    Also, communities need chickens as much as they need eagles. There is nothing wrong with being a chicken.

  5. 2

    5% ? Its totally overestimated

    1. 2

      hahahha true tho - it's actually less.

      How might we change that?

      1. 1

        I don't think we can, i assume its a nature of humans. And you know how hard is to fight someones nature.

  6. 1

    To make a change, we will need to encourage the silent group to gradually alter their behavior. I count myself in the silent group, never posting anywhere unless I have a need or a problem. And when I do have something to post, if the post is really selfish (which it is most of the time tbh), responses are a hit or miss (as they should be). Sometimes even a reasonably intriguing post will receive no responses. And even though I know intellectually that one needs to produce more (content) than to consume it, give more before taking, somehow I have never gotten to the point of reaching out to post or share what I learn freely and frequently. Instead, I sit on my a** consuming any amount of content that I can reach on IH, Twitter, FB, etc.

    My 2c on how we might:

    Empower contributors & facilitators by:
    -- constantly reminding the silent that giving is good, even essential?
    -- perhaps rewarding contributors (badges maybe) to inspire the silent?
    -- insist that they give (feature that calculates ratio of produce vs consume)

    Create a safe environment to share and learn by:
    -- more active moderation to discourage/delete disparaging responses

  7. 1

    The majority will always be silent; nothing you can do to change that.

    Remember how it was like in classroom?

    Almost nobody would raise their hand to speak, unless called upon by the teacher.

    It's human nature and the human behavior bell curve.

  8. 1

    75% Marketers,
    25% Newbies,
    5% Contributors.

    How might we empower more contributors and facilitators?
    How might we accommodate more like-minded people in the community?
    How might we create a safe environment where individuals can share and learn?
    By praising contributors not marketers.

    1. 2

      Good observations tho @anilkilic - How should we solve this or how might we get closer to what we want to achieve?

  9. 1

    I’ve always thought of it as following Pareto’s principle: 80% are consumers, 20% (or even less) are creators... obviously just an assumption I make and not scientifically evidenced 😅

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