Notes on community

Communities are like Soylent Green – they’re made of people.

There are the communities we lead or facilitate (Internal Communities), and the communities we belong to or participate in (External Communities).

For a business, the internal community could be a community of customers (e.g. superuser program or loyalty program), or a community of employees. The external communities could include a community of peers (mastermind groups, professional associations), or a community of interest or profession that they’re trying to participate in (target market).

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The content we create serves the community we’re working with. The simplest example here is capturing and sharing knowledge. And you can do that through writing, through video, through audio. You can do it through in-person experiences and activities.

To sustain ourselves and our work, we need to enable some form of commerce with that community. So maybe it’s more revenue out of customers, or maybe it’s new business or collaboration with peers, or maybe it’s converting members of a target market into newsletter subscribers or paying customers.

Defining Community

My definition of community is pretty simple: a community is a network of people who have something in common. It could be a place, like where they live. It could be an interest, like photography. It could be a practice, like running a small business. It could be a purpose, like improvements to affordable housing. It could even be circumstantial, like being present at an event.


My latest posts about Community

View all my posts about Community.

Community Management

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Organizing Meetups

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Recommended Community Resources

Motivating participation in communities (via FeverBee). Honestly one of the hardest things to do with a fledgling community.

How Niantic Labs blew their chances on Pokemon GO. An excellent case study and testament to the importance of having an engaged community team.

If you’re looking to use Slack as a community platform, check out this guide from Buffer. They’ve got one of the most, if not the most, active Slack communities I’ve ever come across.