What do community newcomers need to know?


(Richard Millington) #1

Hi everyone,

Open question for you all here, what do newcomers to community need to know?

What advice would you give to someone that’s new to building a community?

What resources should they check out?

What should their first steps be?

Over the next few weeks I want to build out the ‘getting started’ section of the community. Any resources you can share here would be realy useful.

(Mark Baldwin) #2

Would this be for someone creating a brand new community or for someone taking over an already existing community?

(Richard Millington) #3

Hey @Mjbill,

I’m looking for someone that’s brand new to community management in general. They will be taking over a new community, but they’re probably new to the entire space.

(Mark Baldwin) #4

Wow, that’s quite daunting. Do people actually do that? I mean just jump straight into community management and have to do everything themselves right from the off?

Anyway, assuming that does happen, when first starting out I would recommend only managing a community that you know plenty about the subject or at least you’ve done lots of research on what the community offers. I think if it helps if you can say to yourself, If I was not managing this community would I be a part of it? Then at least you are fully invested in the community.

Then you need a plan, find out exactly what the company expects from the community. Managing expectations is as important as managing a community.

Don’t be afraid of asking for and looking for help.

(Kathleen Ulrich) #5

What a great intitiative!

Build your network of community organizers. You will need other people who understand your role. I direct messaged many people on Linked in and contacted vendors - people were extremely generous with their time and knowledge.

At the same time, network with others in your new community asking for their opinions or expertise – esp. important if you are international.

  • Feverbee - I found the community life cycle to be a lifesaver - and I still do, but there is so much more
  • Community Roundtable - They have a community maturity model they describe as a checklist and roadmap, I found it helpful.
  • Anything you can find on culture. Establishing the culture of your new community is going to be key to a healthy community and it helps if you can recognize milestones and know where tweaks might beneficial to encourage the establishment of a healthy culture that meets the goals of your community. (My current questions are action vs innovation culture. I’d appreciate any recommendations on this!)
  • Books
    One from Many by Dee Hock on Chaordic Organizational models
    Reinventing organization by Fredric Laloux on Teal Organizational models
    Open Community by Dryer and Grant on Associations and social media including online communities (if you are an association)
    Mindset by Carol Dweck - social and developmental psychology. You’ll probably be asked to do things you did not think you could do - and you’ll find you can do them!

Do as much platform work as possible before a launch – test, test, test. Set work rules that make your life in “balance.” This is a demanding job, and especially so at the beginning

(Shreyas) #6

Yes, and yes. That was literally me in my first job. Well, to be fair, I did sort of build a community of volunteers that I worked with, without really knowing that community management is an actual industry in itself.

My first month, all I did was talk to every single person who was active on our platform during the month that I had joined. I also took notes about every single thing in the community and also tried to map out the company’s relationship with certain individuals.

I also sat with one new person every week from the team(it was easy because we had only 8 people) to get to know then and the role they see the community playing. Although this might not be possible for everyone, perhaps interacting with every team that interacts with the community in some form, might be helpful.