What do people new to community building need to know or learn?

I’m asking this question to help us brainstorm things and ideas for a foundational community curriculum / course.

What do you think people new to community need to learn?

:information_source: This is a wiki post. Feel free to edit directly or add comments for further discussion.

(I also asked this on Twitter and LinkedIn)

  • The importance of setting healthy boundaries
  • This is a long game (Talia Deer)
  • An audience or fandom is not a community (Charmi Trivedi)
  • How to nurture a community if you don’t share the expertise. Meaning, if they are all hardware engineers- how can I encourage engagement though I’m not an engineer? (Bernadette Gatbsy)
  • experiment, observe and talk to people. sometimes what works isn’t what’s always expected, so start small and don’t worry if it takes time to build up relationships, but if you find a spark or something takes off, keep going! (leanne griffith mchugh)
  • patience (Sandy Hubbard and Eric Peterson)
  • Setting boundaries and adhering to them. This goes hand in hand with moderation and sticking to your guns if there has been an infraction. As somebody who managed an online community during 9/11, I learned a lot of that the hard way. (Amie Gillingham)
  • 1 huge thing I’ve learned from our resident community expert @hnbarr_ is to avoid having your relationship w/the community be transactional - rather, actually seek to learn ab them & how you can bring them value! If you do, the return value will come! (katie hoesley)
  • For in person communities - how to get good member buy in to be more involved in leadership to allow the group to become community led (janackeh)
  • When it’s time to listen and it’s time to speak - Nicolas Bergé
  • Create boundaries to prevent burnout (Sonali Nigam)
  • The first 1000 members (or the first three months): that seems to be the magical number for Facebook groups. I’m struggling with day to day stuff to do to get my numbers up. (Visnja Zeljeznjak)
  • Strategies for holistic engagement via social media platforms. (Tristan Lombard)
  • Don’t use marketing strategies for community. Marketing sells. Community builds. (Ale Murray)
  • Learn what community members need and want, and what content or messaging meet those criteria. (Jana Gentry Smith)
  • There are no shortcuts. Community is built brick by brick. (Bob Dalton)
  • Need, I don’t know. I’d like to learn specifically how to build my community to create 2-way communication. Have people give and not only consume, how to actually build a connected group. I’m now in the beginning and everyone loves it, but I’m mostly giving… (Bas Vegter)
  • Recognition > Rewards (Tom Lovett)
  • Be kind. Support the community and provide the people with what they need rather than selling. (Rucha Jadhav)
  • Always add value, and bring a service mindset to work with you every single day. (Matt Saunders)
  • It looks like the most challenging question for a newbie. I do not know what I do not know, then What do I want to know? (jzavala)
  • That it isn’t about making a community just for yourself. (Will)

Oooh! Oooh! I run a mentorship program for folks with less than 2 years experience. Here’s the most popular sessions we cover:

  1. Why community has value for everyone
  2. How to talk about community to your colleagues vs how to talk about it with your target members
  3. Community member journeys, and how motivation changes for members over time (spend time talking about how community membership is transactional at first, but emotional later on)
  4. How to find out what your community wants/needs (mixing data and anecdotal feedback)
  5. Why an APPROVED community strategy is the most empowering thing you can have

Keen to see what you come up with Rosie :slight_smile:

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I think finding ways to balance social media with your community work. I love social media but how can i ensure the line between social media manager vs community manager that uses social media…is there a line?

I’d also love to learn more about using data to support all the long term work that community work offers (since there is a lot of people who don’t see community as a measurable value add).

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Yes, this is a constant tug and pull.