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taylor desseyn
taylor desseyn

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Why You Should Stop Building Communities on Slack w/ Domitrius Clerk

Is there a bad space to build a community? No. But that doesn’t mean some community building spaces aren’t problematic. Today we’re getting into the good, the bad and the ugly of community building and what it looks like to get started and maintain. I’m joined by Domitruis Clerk, aka my extroverted alter ego.

Catch the whole conversation here:
YouTube Link

If “ain’t nobody got time for that", I’ve got you covered:

Let’s start at the top. How do you build a community? Well, you need to start with a goal. It can be niche, it can be broad, it can be weird. But, most importantly, you feel passionate about that goal. Like examples? Yeah, me too. But let’s step outside of the tech world for a minute.

  • Your goal: to raise awareness about the dark side of otters. Google it.
  • Your platforms: Identify what would work best for your content. Twitter (because you have a lot to say), Discord (because you know someone there already feels the same way) and TikTok (because there’s plenty of video footage of otters in action)
  • Your problems: You’re not getting a lot of traction. Views are low. Followers are even lower. And you feel like you’ve fully covered all sides of the otter slander argument.

The most obvious solution to your problem would be to lean on those few followers that you have and start building a relationship. Talk otters, or talk other horrendous acts of the animal kingdom. Growth isn’t as important as engagement. It’s better to have 50 engaged followers than 500 followers who never interact with your content. Find out what questions your audience wants answered and make content about that. You can see this in the success of online influencers— they/their team are always in those comments interacting with people, giving video responses to comments and engaging with other people’s work. It pays to play.

Speaking of online influencers— it’s real difficult to avoid comparing yourself to other people’s success, right? It’s one of icky those things that’s almost impossible to avoid. But remember, you shouldn’t compare yourself to where they are now. Think about what your step of the journey looked like for them. They went through a period of no views and followers, too. If building a community is something you want to do, you have to be consistent and keep pressing publish… even when it feels like no one is watching.

Alright, you’ve read this far. Let’s talk about why you shouldn’t be building your community on Slack. In short, it’s a platform built to be a business tool not a community tool. Slack has top-down ownership, meaning everything you do and create in Slack, yeah your boss can see that. And better yet, if you want to get something as simple as your message history, that’s going to cost you. So if you want to build a community for yourself, seek out a platform where you can have your own identity and autonomy. Same goes for Teams, in case you were wondering. Invest in a platform that can invest back into you.

Want to just lurk around awhile before you get started? That’s fair. Here’s a link to some communities you can join.

Top comments (1)

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel ( • Edited

I agree, I thought hard about the different options.
Slack only makes sense for people who are tightly connected on the long term.
For a company basically.
Lack of history is terrible unless you are ready to pay an hefty price.

Discord is probably the better option if you look for something like Slack.
Honestly I was reluctant at first because I had vibes that Discord was for gamer
and it may be true in general but doesn't have to be for your community in particular.
In Discord you have all the history of messages
Also you have only one place for DMs instead of one per community like Slack, which makes absolutely zero sense whatsoever.

But even Discord only makes sense once you scale to a certain level.

If you are getting started, I would just do a WhatsApp group, and then a WhatsApp community.
I've seen a WhatsApp community for a challenge of 1600 people who wanted to write every day on LinkedIn and oh boy, it worked perfectly.
Having the messages arrive in WhatsApp that people check every day makes all the differences compared to having to install and remember to use an unfamiliar tool