What did your community building world look like in the past?

I came across this article that goes into 15 years of content strategy.

In some of my recent conversations, writings and teachings I’ve been saying how community needs to “always be MVC’ing”, by this I mean that we always need to be experimenting and trying new things out. Always be looking to improve, get better and adapt with the times.

It also made me wonder what your past 15-20 years of community has looked like?

For me, a rough summary for Ministry of Testing:
2000-2005: non-existent
2005-2010: discovering community via meetups, starting a coworking space, starting Ministry of Testing, with forums, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. I started my journey into curation here too by collecting and sharing testing blogs.
2010-2015: Turning Ministry of Testing into a sustainable community business via content, newsletters, more social media, articles/content, videos, conferences.
2015-2020: more of what happened in 2010-2015 with the addition of podcasting and user led meetups. Also stepping back from Ministry of Testing.
2020-current: COVID, basically all going online with a focus on membership and sponsorship.

With Rosieland, starting in 2020, it has gone down a much more ‘community creator’ route: newsletter first, curation, written content, paid content, plenty of virtual events.


Pretty boring for me I think.

2000-2002: Built a community platform “in public” as you kids say these days using another community platform to ask for feedback / seek feature ideas / etc
2003-Present: Built another community platform, lived through Youtube, Facebook and Twitter being invented. Community has always been our moat so we have been able to manoeuvre through the decades closely aligned to our customers.

That sounds more corporatey than intended but basically having a community with a direct line to our customers as been critical to our success over the last 20 years.


2018 - 2019 (before discovering the field of community management): A large whatsapp group, monthly events, a newsletter, and a podcast. All were part of ‘Almost Founders’ a kind of platform for early-stage student founders.
2019 - 2020: Turning large whatsapp group into ~40 micro-communities. I was taking a product management approach to those communities with a big focus on UX and extremely rapid testing. Now that I look at it, that was my community crash course/bootcamp.
2020 - 2021: First we wanted to turn the micro-community thing into a product, so I finally discovered the world of community management. I read everything I could find about best practices, joined and analyzed as many communities as I could, and kind of learned the fundamentals.
I think I’m more in love with the people who build communities, than with the communities they build. I’m young, dumb, and am following the pipe dream of wanting to build a startup. Out of every role that I can think of, community management/building seems the most noble/human/loving. If I can help those people I’m pretty happy.

2021 - current: Newsletter for community managers and hoping to turn that audience into a community.


2015 - 2018: Started collecting SEO experts for in-person meetups with further communication in Viber and later in Telegram, which turned to the SEO Club community, started meetups for paid advertisement experts and online communication, and was making all the possible CM mistakes and learning from them. At that time, I didn’t know about the community world.

2018 - 2020: Had a significant problem understanding who I am as an expert - SEO, PPC, marketing, or sales while growing my online groups, gathering in-person meetups, and even made a big sales in-person conference for 700 participants in 2019!

2020 - Feb 2022: I finally understood that I am a community leader and manager, thanks to Rosie.Land email I found the CMX Community and started to systematize my knowledge and fill up my gaps with the help of the other community experts and apply it to my four communities. Also, I began to reach out and connect to other community experts to learn from them and exchange experiences.

Feb 2022-current: Due to the war, I had to stop growing my communities, and thanks to David Spinks turned to community consulting. Also, I search for what else hasn’t been covered enough in the community world and try to explain the community stuff easily, like to a five-year-old.