At this point, it might be mentioned in every single article published under the Third Academy name, but it's important, so we'll say it again. Community is central in Web3. It's the lifeblood that keeps us moving forward, often the marker of a strong project, and the concrete change that sets Web3 apart from Web2 and other more centralized or hierarchical structures.
But, community is far from an easy skill. Each community is different, and being able to find what will draw an interested group, listening to them, and finding ways to bring in active contributors are all unique talents — both in terms of actions and communities.
But, all of these different tasks for building and managing strong, functional communities are instrumental. Today, we're going to just brush the surface, looking at the basics of what you need to take into account and which platform is right to build (or look for) your community on. But, trust, there will be more. Much, much more on this topic.
Because at its core, community is bringing together diverse audiences, miscommunication and mayhem can occur. That's not to say it's the norm, but definitely having a well-rounded, aligned, and self-moderated community drop from the heavens into your lap is not.
That's all hard work.
So, here are a few important best practices that go for every platform, and just about every community, under the sun.
Establish the use for your community. Why are people here? What should they share or look for? And, do your best to set the tone. This will take on a life of its own, but as basically your own first community member, you play an important role in giving people cues for how to behave.
It's also important to be as clear as possible with how strict you are. Setting clear do's and don'ts helps with this, as well. Just tell people what will get them blocked or banned, and then hope that nobody pushes you there!
As communities grow, there is generally more and more information. Help new-comers sort through the noise by pinning important messages so they're easy to find. This is especially important in less structured platforms, like Telegram.
Robust FAQs will also help reduce the noise, and also take a looooot off the plate of any mods. It also gives you a place to convert people by answering some basic questions about why they should believe in your project and addressing concerns, and just lays the ground rules.
FAQs also don't have to be anything fancy. A Gitbook or even just a spreadsheet can be enough, as long as the actual community questions are answered!
We all want scam and spam free communities, but that's just not a reality, especially in Web3. Keep your community safe by staying on top of the types of scams making the rounds in your community and warning people. You don't want anyone turned off your community because they fell prey to a scam there!
You need to value your community members, not just in theory, but in practice. Find ways to highlight and shout them out, talk about what they're interested in, and, if you're committed to decentralized power, ways to give them real say in your project. This is being formalized with DAOs and governance tokens, but even if you don't have that, there are informal ways to hand over some of the power!