Q1 Community Recap - Community Chat Weekly #25
It's hard to believe that 2020 is already 25% finished!
Community Chat Weekly is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community managers.
Oops, a small technical hiccup caused last week’s newsletter to not be sent. We’re back!
It's hard to believe that 2020 is already a quarter finished
While the last month in quarantine has certainly felt like a lifetime for most of us, we wanted to take this issue as an opportunity to reflect and thank all of our readers and community members for their support and for joining us on this journey.
We strongly believe that the best way to impact the world is through community, and are committed to providing the ultimate network of best practices and learning, while also helping community managers everywhere elevate the role of community within their organizations and across all industries. In that spirit, we've recapped our best nuggets and insights from this past quarter for everyone to enjoy below. And oh by the way, did you notice our new logo and design? 😄🎨
🌳 The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet
In our first issue of the new year, we explored how the internet is becoming a dark forest. In the early days of the web, you could find a forum or chat room for virtually any hobby, interest or profession – from software development to Lego building. Then the social media giants redefined the internet landscape forever – grouping users, publishers, content creators and everything in between into one collective pool – blurring and removing the boundaries that used to define niche communities.
But now, social communication on the internet is going back to it's roots and is experiencing a fundamental re-fragmentation. According to Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter:
"In response to the ads, the tracking, the trolling, the hype, and other predatory behaviors of social media, we’re retreating to our dark forests of the internet, and away from the mainstream."
Further fueled by lower barriers to content creation, the internet is experiencing an explosion in mediums such as blogging, podcasting, newsletter writing, and niche community building.
Community offers a safe retreat to closed spaces such as private chats, groups, and forums – say goodbye to the algorithm driven feedback loops in traditional social media, community is shifting power away from the machines and back into the hands of human community managers and content curators. Read more in CCW #12.
👥 Big Social Strikes Back
In CCW issue #13, the team recapped major announcements from the 3 big social media players and how they are adapting to a community-driven future. LinkedIn decides to show some love to it's notoriously dead 'groups' feature, Facebook doubles down on groups and community emphasis, and Twitter teases new community-inspired features within the timeline experience.
You know you want to click this link to read more. 👈
👑 Chief Community What? Community Cracks the C-Suite Ceiling
Ever heard of a Chief Community Officer? In CCW #15, we did a deep dive into the new title and the elevated role that community is starting to play in most companies.
Erica Kuhl, former VP of Community at Salesforce captured the spirit surrounding this buzzing trend in her latest post. She dreams of a future where every company has a Chief Community Officer, and reflects on how far the community industry has come:
I have been in the community industry long before it was even called “community”. Back in the day community was referred to as a portal and it was very one-dimensional. It was an unknown entity with “soft” measurements and aligned more to Social Media rather than actual business value.
Read the full story in CCW issue #15.
🔢 The Dunbar Number – A Scientific Limit on Community Participation
Robin Dunbar, a renowned anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist was studying correlations between the sizes of ancient human tribes and the brain's neocortex region, and discovered that there is an approximate limit to how many meaningful relationships a human being can realistically have.
The Dunbar number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.
The implications for communities are obvious – how many communities can one person realistically meaningfully contribute and participate in? And is time the big constraining factor, or is there a true, cognitive relationship-building limit at play? See more in this blast from the past in CCW #17.
🎉 Join the biggest virtual community event of the year!
The world has changed dramatically these last few weeks, and the Community Chat team doesn't want you to try and figure it out alone. Come hang with the world's top community builders at our immersive 2 day, completely virtual event. You’ll get an insiders’ look at the strategies, frameworks and tactics the most successful community-driven businesses, organizations, and individuals are using. Plus interactive workshops, networking sessions, and virtual happy hours!
And we're doing our part by donating 20% of all proceeds to the WHO's COVID-19 Fund!
🌍 What did you miss this week in Community World?
A handful of recommended readings from the past week.
Big changes are coming at Meetup as they spin out of WeWork (3 min read)
Huge news from Meetup, the in-person social networking platform, as it is being spun out from it's parent company WeWork. The company confirmed it is being sold to AlleyCorp and other private investors for an undisclosed sum. After backlash last fall over a flawed pricing model rollout, and a future that will be increasingly digital, what will be the future for Meetup.com under it's new ownership?
The Must Read Guide for Hosting Virtual Events (5 min read)
Andy Mcllwain, CommChat member and Community Lead at GoDaddy brain dumps their internal processes for hosting virtual meetups and lessons learned. While there has been no shortage of tips and tricks circulating the internet these past few weeks for community managers going digital, this is one of the most comprehensive and thoughtful guides we've come across. Enjoy 🙂
The Inside Story of how Reddit's Coronavirus Community Became a Global Lifeline (6 min read)
TL;DR. A podcast transcript about how Redditors from r/coronavirus are coping with the coronavirus pandemic, and how the community has fast become one of the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and reliable sources of information for this constantly developing global story.
💬 Join the Community!
Did you know that Community Chat is more than just a newsletter? We’re also on Slack, where community leaders and builders connect with each other and share tips and tricks. Join us to partake in the next virtual hangout session!
Have a suggestion for a piece of content we should include next week? Email us and let us know!