Threado Community AMA series is exclusively built for the tight-knit slack community we are building at Threado. We gathered and brought together community leaders from Notion, Mixpanel On Deck, Glide, Startup Grind, and many more fast-growing startups.
For this episode, we had Ash Wesley, Programming & Education Lead at Coho joining us to answer all questions in the community. The session was filled with many amazing insights on community building. Here are the top highlights from the session 👇
Q: Can you share some learnings and insights from all of the community experiments that did not work at Coho/On Deck?
A: One of the main insights is the ease of use of new tools when introduced. One of the reasons why zoom works so successfully is because it’s available easily and the tools are easy to use. Coho tried to recreate this experience by creating a customized almost metaverse like space on gather.com. Unfortunately, due to it’s innate complexity it didn’t take off.
Another idea that didn’t take off was weather of the day as it was introduced midway through the community and wasn’t fully realised, people couldn’t relate the weather analogy into what the community was.
The insight that Ash gained from this is to incorporate various symbols and mascots into a special digest rather than just a newsletter or email digest. Even the above two he wouldn’t call failures but more like iterations which he would keep working on until it works.
On the IRL side, it is integral to pick a place and stick to it, a place that is familiar but also ha sna air of unexpectedness around it.
Q: Have you ever built rituals for communities? If yes, then how did you make them?
A: Rituals are an essential parts of communities and everyone recognises their importance. Rituals anchor your community and give all community members a default of like no matter what is going on if they only have a bit of time or their focus isn’t 100% then there is something they could default to.
The biggest ritual on deck is the Mastermind ritual that was inspired by a mastermind group that KP from Twitter created in Atlanta called zero to one makers it was a mastermind group that ,et every Friday at 4pm.
The big question this group discussed every week was what have you worked on past week, what is something you are going to work on in the week ahead and what’s your favourite no code tool.
The main things Ash focuses on is, meeting at same time every week and based on that he would assign different tags to different groups. And from this he would do a second and a third layer of grouping.
Q: How can community builders leverage no code to make their lives easier? What are some of your no code tool recommendations for community builder? What is Coho’s vision and can you share anything about what’s on cards for 2023?
Coho is a new spin off from On Deck, it’s all the programs that primarily focus on careers, like engineering data science design. It’s kind of a community for managers and above levels who are mentors. It’s a chance to learn from other experts on your own level.
Q: You have a ton of experience building communities on slack, so what battle-tested initiatives that works well for community engagement? According to you, what do you consider the highest value that defines a solid community builder?
A: There are a few key initiatives that work well for community engagement:
The highest value that defines all community builders is compassion, compassion to understand that people are different, could be dealing with different issues either in personal or professional lives, compassion for all the members of your community.
Q: What are your top 3 ways to drive engagement in your community?
Q: How do you craft experiences in your community that will keep members coming back?
Q: How did you make sure all of them gel together? What is the one thing that you think sets On Deck community apart from other communities?
A: It actually isn’t necessary for you as a community manager to make sure they all gel together, as it would be a pretty huge undertaking. The biggest thing to do in your community is to make sure everyone respects each other.
You can ensure mutual respect through community guidelines and setting expectations during the kickoffs and by having folks who gel together work together.
Q: How Coho’s B2C and OnDeck B2B have different type of engagement challenges?
A: CoHo and OnDeck have specialty comparions where ondeck had over 20 programs at one point and every program had its own specific different flavor, the type of persona coming through was an aspiring founder who wanted to build an MVP in a short period of time.
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