What would you change in your community?

What if you could change anything in your community?

This question is inspired, or tbh, taken (!) from the following post

But I ask it because I recognise that I’m always wanting to change things around in the communities I create. Sometimes it’s because things aren’t working, other times it can be because I feel things just aren’t good enough, or I just want to try experimenting.

There are a lot of positives with changing things around, however on the flip side, people can find it hard to keep up or they may get confused with too many changes.

If there was one thing you could change with your current community, what would it be?


The 1 thing I would change in all the communities I own, help or are part of, is that every member would have explicit permission to be present in the community (IR35 aside).

Could you expand on that? I’m not quite sure what you mean.

In some user research I did recently, some contractors said couldn’t be part of the community because of the tax implications (IR35). They view community activities as part of a permanent role, and therefore at odds with the IR35 rules that apply to them. I have not tested this with an IR35 expert yet.

On top of that, some permanent employees don’t think they can prioritise community activities, because they don’t have permission to attend, or it’s not built into their job description.

Does that help? :slight_smile:

Wow, never heard the first argument, but honestly I don’t quite get it. Like, they couldn’t go to an event (which are often part of communities)?

And for the 2nd one, I can’t imagine being in a world where I had to seek permission from my employer. Getting permission to do things can be hard…I suppose the trick is not to ask for it and try to get away with as much as possible (all with good intentions, of course).

There ain’t anyone telling me I can’t do stuff, lol. I guess I feel like I live in a massive bubble now!


The only thing I would change - is trying to engage people less in the beginning and building meaningful connections right away by having 1:1 conversations and recording podcasts I’m doing now (Freelance Thrive and Freelance Sucks).

Because when I started working with the community, I thought that people were active (at least I’ve been told that) and tried to keep up the engagement, but they were not, and by trying to engage them, I even detracted people from the community.

So now I do much less activity stuff, but much deeper conversations and highlighting community members via podcast, and people directory, asking them for professional advice and connecting them directly on a personal 1:1 level instead of gathering many people in one room.


I feel this alot…like there is this (perceived?) understanding that we must engage and onboard people, but it’s not what I personally like as a member…and it’s definitely not something I’ve done building communities in the past.

These days I get bombarded with automated emails/DMs when joining communities, I don’t like it.

1 Like

Yes, exactly! When I join a new community, I can definitely tell when it’s an automated onboarding, and I intentionally do not answer any messages because I want to see what happens next… if a community manager will communicate with me on a personal level (so I can learn how to do it better :sweat_smile:)

but I guess it’s a “professional” thing because, from my experience, people out of the community world really like welcoming messages, they feel seen if somebody greets them (sure, it depends on how personal onboarding is), and they support conversation rather good, however if they don’t see value out of those messages, it irritates them, and they become inactive

1 Like

There are so many platform-level changes I want to make… :sweat_smile:

Re: automated DMs –

I think automated onboarding messages are fine when they’re clearly labeled as such, e.g. a single, succinct message to help new members find their way around or point them to the next step.

I’m not a fan of the automated “just checking in” / “I noticed you haven’t posted” messages. Those feel like I’m being chided/nagged for not doing my homework.

1 Like

Heh, I’m curious about this one. What platform are you on, and why do you want to change? :innocent:

I’m not sure I like any kind of onboarding messages, it feels like this is a tactic we should move away from.

Any time I read a message from a ‘member of staff’ I feel I have to analyse it to understand if they are really talking to me or if it’s automated…and I just don’t like it.

For the 2nd one, what I’ve seen happen is the employee gets so overloaded they don’t have time to engage with the community since other things take priority :frowning:

1 Like