Is anyone thinking of designing community with 'community activities' in mind?

I’m curious to know how people think about ‘community activities’, (this is what I think of as ‘the things people do’ in communities), especially in terms of trying to design community with community activities in mind.

I know, that’s a lot of ‘community’ in one sentence!

Increasingly there are tools that pull in community activities (e.g. Common Room, Orbit, etc) automatically, or manually. This data can be useful in so many ways. We can get a true sense of member profiles and activity (across many platforms), we can see what people are or aren’t doing, we can more precisely understand what activities are working, or not.

What I’d love to see more of is — how can we design communities with ‘community activities’ in mind?

Can we get better at mapping them out?
Do we know (as a team or industry) what community activities exist?
How do you choose which ones to track?
What community activities are important, or not?

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience around this?

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Before starting to build Waves we spoke to around 40ish community managers about content and community activities that are worth tracking.
I’m just going through my notes right now to answer what we found.

Here’s the list of ‘activities’ that a majority mentioned:

  • Discussions (“What do you think about Web3?”)
  • Support (coming together to answer a technical question that a member asked)
  • Support 2.0 (Answering a question by speaking about your own experiences)
  • Sharing resources (Sharing a really useful and non-obvious link to relevant resources)
  • Creating resources (Members coming together to create resources like lists or blogs)
  • Events

Community managers also mentioned that they have a really hard time understanding what activities actually work. From what I heard, my hypothesis is that it comes down to two things.

  1. Everyone ‘eyeballs’ it. No one had the energy to put all the numbers and details about an activity on a spreadsheet. You just try to remember what you can remember.

  2. There’s a lot of recency bias. The last well-performing activity that you saw is the one that’s top of mind for you.

So overall it’s hard to keep track of an activity’s attractiveness over a long period of time and you can’t really tell why an activity does well because you mostly eyeball everything.

Again, this is based on my interviews with community managers and there are definitely some assumptions from me in there too.