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Ayu Adiati
Ayu Adiati

Posted on • Originally published at adiati.com

What Makes You Stay In A Community?

Hello Friends πŸ‘‹,

When I was writing 7 Supportive Tech Communities You Want To Be Part Of, some thoughts crossed my mind. Why do people want to stay in a community? What makes them willing to volunteer in a community?

For me, these are the things that made me stay, being active and willing to contribute to the communities:

  • Welcoming
    Whenever I join a community, I will introduce myself. And I can get that sense of warmth and welcoming atmosphere from how everyone receives me (and other newcomers). It can be either through emojis, GIFs or welcoming replies. When I didn't get that sense of welcome, I would leave.

  • Inclusivity
    In this context, I'm talking about inclusivity in general.
    There was a time when I joined a community and felt like an outsider. I remember I was a total newbie. And I asked a super noob question. It was a while before anyone responded. And the only response that I got was, "It's very basic, bro. It's easy. Have you googled?" (Oh, yes. I remember that response clearly as if I heard it yesterday.)
    First of all, oh, please. I'm not a 'bro' and definitely not your bro!
    oh please gif
    Second, it may be easy for you, but not for me. Have you never been a newbie?
    And most importantly, friends, that kind of response makes newbies doubt themselves and feel like they don't belong in tech.
    So, yes. I'm totally staying in an inclusive community πŸ™Œ.

  • Support
    Not gonna lie. One of the reasons I join a community is to get a support system. I need people to ask questions, give me feedback, and get mentorships. I need friends with whom I can share my ups and downs and who have the same interest as I do (of course, I'm talking about tech). A supportive community will always get your back.
    And because I get that support, I will not only stay but also give back to the community. I contribute and volunteer to support other members with whatever I can.

  • Size of the community
    I'm an introverted and shy person. So a huge community is usually overwhelming for me. It takes a lot of work to catch up with the conversations. Also, I often have trouble figuring out where to start. And it would be worse if the community lacked moderators. I usually stay, but more as a quiet passenger.
    Small to medium size communities usually are inclusive and more intimate. And I often found myself not only sticking around but also being active in these sizes of communities.

  • The founder(s), the team, and the volunteers
    I found myself staying in communities where the founder(s), the team, and the volunteers are actively engaging with the members and know their members. What makes a community great is when all members can interact with the community's core team. In my opinion, that's one thing that makes people feel included.

  • Acknowledgement and appreciation
    Here is an example. A maintainer in your community approaches you and says, "Hey, I remember you gave an idea about X the other day. We think it sounds great for our community. Will you talk more about it?" The community remembers that you gave the idea, although it's already been passed. And they even ask you if you want to talk more about it. Not only do they acknowledge you, but they also appreciate you!
    I will definitely stay and give my all when I get such acknowledgment and appreciation in a community. I mean, who doesn't πŸ˜€?

Now I'm curious.

What are you looking for in a community when you think of joining?
And if you're part of a community, what makes you stay? Even better, what about the community that makes you active in engaging and volunteering or contributing?
I would love to hear from you! Drop your thoughts in the comment below πŸ˜€


Thank you for reading!
Last, you can find me on Twitter and Mastodon. Let's connect! 😊

Top comments (13)

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moniquesmithn profile image
Monique Smith

I'm a major noob so i've been checking out a bunch of different communities from Slack, Reddit, Discord and Forums. I think the welcome is a huge one. You can kinda tell right away whether the community is a good fit or not by the way they treat someone new.

Tech bro attitude is a major turn off but I sometimes overlook that so i'm not isolating myself and letting them gatekeep.

Sometimes testing these online commuities feels like being in high school or primary school and hoping someone picks you to join their team at PE lol. But I know it's important to put myself out there and atleast try.

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

Sometimes testing these online commuities feels like being in high school or primary school and hoping someone picks you to join their team at PE

Totally agree! And you described it well! πŸ˜€

I sometimes overlook that so i'm not isolating myself and letting them gatekeep.

Love this!

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄
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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ • Edited on

That's some pretty good answers yes.

I guess the general thread is that a good community gives you the message that you matter.

As a counter example, I'm not in Twitter because I dislike being in a "global village" (remember that terrible idea?) where everybody speaks all the time but nobody really listens, since we have the attention span of a golden fish. Where everyone is being trained to chase vanity metrics (likes! retweets!) that are important mostly for the engagement KPI of the platform that hosts us and sees us as a hogs in a roasting machine. We are in society where people have less and less friends, they have 42k TikTok followers and Facebook "friends" but the day they need some actual help to move on to a new flat, nobody answers the call for help.

So a good community should IMHO thrive to do the contrary of that and build genuine mutually beneficial human connections.

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

Exactly! I love communities with person-first approach.

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bekahhw profile image
BekahHW

Love this so much, Ayu.

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

Thank you, Bekah ❀️

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lovepreetsingh profile image
Lovepreet Singh

Love the way you write Ayu. Thanks for this one. I read the previous blog "7 communities to be a part of" and I found that insightful too. You can check my blog too on lovepreet.hashnode.dev/ and I would love to collaborate with you in hackathons. So, let's connect on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/lovepreet-singh-a1...

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

Thanks, Lovepreet! πŸ˜€

I'm afraid I don't have the bandwith for hackathons πŸ˜…
But thanks for the offer!

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nefofortressia profile image
Fiana Fortressia • Edited on

Size of the community

Yupp!!! With small circles it's easy to handpick who are you spending time with.

I'm not really feeling fine in communities that are so male-dominated. I mean, I'm okay with guys that are chill and cool! I love them! They're my type.

But I always get uninterested when there are lots of "guys doing guys thing", because for me, there's nothing for me to relate about. (that's gender summed up pretty much)

It's easy to have small circles of female friends irl, since school and all that stuff, but in tech communities, sadly lots of them are still so male-dominated. It's just a big turn off for me. πŸ₯²

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samincl profile image
samiNCL • Edited on

I have some issues with being a member of an online community. Of course have I participated in some of them but never felt like a loyal member of a particular community. I have never got an online friend whatsoever , and never felt comfortable in communities with moderators who exclude some posts for different reasons.

I feel communities should be decentralised (without public owner and moderators who control others). I imagine it like I can select some members from social media. No one see my community, but everyone can see the community outcomes (posts, comments, etc.).

Some social media provide many options to create sub communities. But they re very closed and do not benefit the public. So there is some kind of design gap still needed to be handled such as addressing the size and publicity issues, while also empowering me as I am the only moderator of my community, without hurting other people feelings. So basically my community is just a dashboard with some controls.

Only if this dashboard also can suggest friends for you by letting you know who frequently interact with your community posts, this would be nice.

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elliot_brenya profile image
Elliot Brenya sarfo

Thanks for sharing Ayu πŸ™‚

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

You're welcome, Elliot!
And thanks for reading πŸ˜„

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