Building an anonymous community of entrepreneurs

Hello :wave:
My name is Bethanavel (Beth), a serial entrepreneur based in New York/India. I am building an anonymous community of entrepreneurs, to enable honest and open discussions about VCs, hiring, and business problems. At present, there are 150 entrepreneurs and I am using Slack build the community out. I feel like Slack is limiting in a lot of ways (as it’s primarily meant for business teams), and have been looking at various options, including discourse and invision. Any pointers which platform would be ideal for an anonymous community of ours would be greatly helpful.

My socials: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethanavel-kuppusamy-60a35b36/

If you are an entrepreneur, feel free to signup here: Mask - Anonymous Founder Community

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Hey Beth!

Off the top of my head, I have never seen a way to be anon in Slack so yes that might not be the best option. But if you do have an option, then that is great. Also, I am not sure what platforms you could use that would ensure anonymity. Each are usually tied to a person’s profile, etc.

The problem with Slack is that the more you scale, the more expensive it gets. Unless you use the free version, but that also has its limits.

If I come across anything, I will send it your way!

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Thank you very much for your response @maxpete! Really appreciate it!

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Have you considered Discord? Plenty of people there are anonymous and it’s popular with crypto/NFT/web3 communities. It can feel pretty overwhelming as a platform (although it is very similar to Slack so it may be suitable for your needs, I have clients who have moved their communities from Slack to Discord) so I’d recommend you set it up in a way that is very easy for a newcomer to start. If you’re looking for something more forum based then there is always Reddit (or Discourse).

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for your suggestions, @CommunityCoach!
In Discord, the username is same across all the groups. One can have nicknames for specific groups but your username will still be visible. So not ideal for an anonymous setup.
With Slack, you can hide the email addresses in the group settings and users can have different usernames for different groups. So anonymity can still be maintained. Only limitation being Slack is designed for workspaces and works best for that use-case. I am trying to get more of a forum based structure. I am now looking to self-hosting Discourse.

Oh I see. In that case Discourse does look to be the best option. There are web3 enabled forum community platforms as well (where users can sign in using their eth wallet address) but that would be limiting if all the entrepreneurs don’t have a wallet set up… Good luck with setting up your Discourse community!

Hi Bethany,

  1. There are various free resources by the major community consultancies that compare the major community platforms:
    https://cmxhub.com/platforms/
    Online Community Software and Platforms | FeverBee

  2. This question should be reflected back to you - in addition to the anonymity of users, what other kinds of features would you like? For example, do you need:

  • real time chat vs long-form discussion
  • advanced features like articles, blogs, clubs
  • do you care about using your own owned platform where you own your members and data or you’re okay using a cloud platform where you don’t own the data?

I use Invision Community as well, and strongly utilize its anonymity feature to protect my members.