I find it kind of frustrating that so many of the community tools are so geared up to for courses.
It ends up making the communities very influencer-y, and of course, the model is always about upselling new courses/education.
I feel there is a need and lots of opportunity to create something that on other needs of communities. Especially when we know that the % of people who actually complete courses is super low.
I also feel that people who really have it in their hearts to build great communities aren’t necessarily people who want to create courses.
Massive agreement here, this definitely frustrates me and makes me feel ultimately that there are not actually that many platforms genuinely focused on what I am interested in with communities. You have Discourse, IPB, Vanilla, maybe Flarum (as a maybe just because I am less enthused about its plugin-based approach)… that’s basically it? And yes all of those are Forums, but they’re also the only major ones that are focused on the discussion aspect rather than all these additional features, and the only ones that are self-hosting first.
There’s also Invision Community.
I do think additional features to discussions are required, just not such a focus on courses.
Completely agree! There is a huge push on having courses right now as good recurring revenue and that seems to have been automatically combined with also running a community. I spend a lot of my calls chatting with course clients who think they also need a community about the work to build and maintain the community and often they find they really just want a course.
Big agreement. I’m a bit tired/exhausted being bombarded with “lessons” and “top tips”. I feel a lot of communities are poor at facilitating interesting discussion.
I miss good quality debate and sharing of perspectives, which I personally find the most valuable with any communites I’m in.
I’m really trying to centre the community i’m launching all around debate and conversations. To the point I’m nervous I’m going too far in that direction…
I’m curious to know how you approach the “debate and sharing of perspectives”.
I try to do this too and would love to learn how others approach it.
Personally, I am a big fan of at least some level of facilitation for a more valuable debate/perspective sharing.
I see a lot of generic meet up events to “share perspectives”, but without a lot of repeat attendance, I think that’s better for bonding and connection building (they do still have their place!).
I like to use conversational games at events. Kick off debates in chat via opinion pieces in the news (on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being massively disagree and 10 being massively agree, where are you on this?). Run vs format structures. Use a confession box to loosen people up a bit, get used to sharing openly.
This is often in a different context though - I’m only just about to apply this to a possible community!
I think Rosieland is one of the better communities I’m in for stimulated debate I just feel like a community noob compared to most, so I don’t tend to chip in too much unless I’m feeling particularly confident on the topic!