How to Help a Community Grow

Building an online community and helping it to grow is not always an easy task. I’ve spent many years figuring out what works – and what doesn’t. Even when people are signing up, participating in some way and logging in regularly, does that actually mean you are a success? No, my friends, it doesn’t mean squat. That means a few people have found a value for themselves in using your space and resources. Are they working together towards a common goal? Is your community platform providing them with the tools they need in order to continue to flourish?

There always seems to be a small “moment” – the one that reminds me why it is I’m doing all of this. I received an email today that brought a huge smile to my face at a time when I needed it most. We all have those down times when we ask ourselves if we should continue to push ahead. I admit to having them myself. Then, I receive an email from someone like Jamie, and the passion and dedication are instantly renewed.

Hi Chris,

First of all I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas.

I discovered that I have been in your community just over a year (since the 2nd of December, 2009). Throughout the time I have spent in the community I have met a lot of great people and learned plenty of useful things.

The way that I first found your community was while on YouTube. I followed the link to your live stream and joined the IRC chat room. I felt very welcome in the community and started talking on the IRC channel a lot more. There I met a few people who I am good friends with and we have set up various IRC channels on the GeekShed network.

People that I have met on IRC have given me a opportunity to be a ‘better’ geek, such as now I write regular posts on a technology blog and I am actively working in a number of different development projects for IRC related software.

I would like to thank you a massive amount for setting up your community. Without it I would never of met some of the people that I have and I probably wouldn’t have ever learned PHP and become a developer. I have already written a lot of PHP based web applications that have proved to be useful to some people and hopefully I will get a career as a developer one day.

Keep up the amazing work!

Many thanks,

Jamie (AKA: Edgy)

What helps to renew your passion and drive? How do you keep pushing yourself forward when you feel as though perhaps you should do something completely different? Have you had a “moment” lately?

Thank you to Jamie and all of the members of our live site. You guys are what makes this worth doing day after day, week after week and year after year. Many thanks go out to the chat room moderation team, as well as to my uber-awesome assistant Kat – the Community Manager extraordinaire who keeps it all together.