What Strategies Have You Used for Private Categories?

Hello community builders! I’m hoping to get some insight from all of you experts on a project we are undertaking at ecommercefuel.com. A quick overview of our community - we are a private, paid community of about 1000 eCommerce store owners based on Discourse. We only accept about 30% of all applicants, as they need to own a 7-figure eCommerce business to get in.

Within the community, we want to create three new sub-groups that will be invite-only. The thinking is that this would help promote a stronger sense of community as we continue to grow, as well as building strong relationships between members who share something in common. We would be using new restricted categories for these groups.

We have done this successfully once already with a group dedicated to $10 million store owners. They discuss things that are hyper-relevant to their specific niche, and as a result, they are more comfortable posting things they wouldn’t normally post in the main community.

Going forward, we want to build three new sub-groups. I’d love to hear from those of you who have done something similar:

  • How did you select the sub-group categories?
  • What do you do to keep these groups active?
  • Did you select topics that overlapped with your main categories? If so, did it hurt the main community in any way?
  • How did you select members to add to these groups? Reputation? Contribution history?
  • Did you select a member or two to help moderate/start discussions?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer!

Hi Padraic,

I’m not familiar with running a (succesful) ecommerce store, but interested in running a tight ship (software agency) and loyal community. I would simply let the members organize the categories/topics/tags or even groups on their own. Or, if you want a more fine grained solution: You give certain ‘access and permissions’ to active (or other attributes you value) members. You just facilitate things behind a login.

Hey @Robert, thanks for your feedback. We’ve been running this Community for 7 years and have all of our tags and categories well-established. What I’m looking for is advice on creating and moderating very specific, invite-only sub-groups within the Community.

@HAWK what do you think about the above?

Sorry, I’m not very active around here these days!

I guess the obvious question is what did you do last time? If it was a success, is there a reason that you’re not replicating that process?

That group was created at the request of a few members in the same demographic. It isn’t all that active, as the members are a very select group of people. This time around we are hoping to build something much more robust and active without taking away from the community as a whole.

I was just hoping that others had done this successfully so that I could learn from their experience, but it sounds like this may not be that common.

We’ve selected two groups to do this with, so I guess I’ll report back here with a case study about it after we have it up and running for a while :slight_smile: