We’re almost midway through our Rosieland Community Building cohort and we thought the results of a collaboration activity would be useful and fun to share.
This week we are learning and sharing all things related to building a Minimum Viable Community (MVC).
What is a Minimum Viable Community?
An MVC, or a Minimum Viable Community is the seed to your community movement. Not all seeds will flourish and grow, but as a community builder you need to try things to see what works. It's a mindset to start small and experiment, to commit to learning about your people, what it is they need, love or talk about.
It is about avoiding the lure of big community, tools and processes. To instead focus on building relationships and understanding between one another. To break down the walls. To do people research.
Starting small is perhaps the only authentic way of doing this. And authenticity matters if you want people to open up with the truth.
Starting small means you start to build trust. A community without trust is one that will likely not survive.
Starting small means you start to really learn about what people want. This means you can build learnings in to building your community.
Starting small means you can be mindful of the culture you are creating, through your own behaviour and of those that you invite in.
Starting small is less risky. It gives you the freedom to experiment and trial things out and just being ok with the whatever happens.
Starting small means you focus on the outcomes and learnings rather than the metrics.
No matter how big your community vision is, it should start with some sort of small experimental gathering. It can be a newsletter, a meet up, a Twitter hashtag or heck even a collaborative Google Doc!
A place for you to test ideas, validate visions, and believe in one another
Minimum Viable Communities are magical little places — personally, a favorite part of a Minimum Viable Community is the fact that you’re not only planting the roots of your vision, but also coming together to trust, experiment, and believe in one another.
While it can feel awkward, weird, or even silly at first – these little seeds allow you to start not only validate a vision, but also build those formative bonds with one another.
Now, while you may have a plan for what happens and comes together — feel free to play around and go off script. Test the waters, don’t be afraid to have some fun – that’s how relationships are formed.
MVCs are great for focusing on people and ideas rather than the tools. The internet is amazing. The tech is mindblowing. But when building community — humanity and creativity is essential.
Keep it simple, ( + silly! )
It can feel like a lot at first when getting a community going. And let’s be honest – you will misstep, and you will fail at things! Events won’t have the attendance you want or go according to plan — heck even in our own little MVC experiment today, the tools failed and we struggled even turning on our mics at first.
But it’s part of the adventure— doing something and learn what works for both you and your community. 💥
The collaborative activity we hosted
We decided to try a new tool and gathered on Butter, there were 9 of us in total. We may have discovered the amazing sound effect tools at the end and we may have ended up having laughing fits. I can neither confirm nor deny this event occurred.
Honestly, we appreciated not using Zoom and trying to be a bit more creative with how we gather.
Below is a pretty much unedited version of what we produced. As a team we spent roughly 5 minutes brain dumping ideas for MVCs into a Google Doc. Giving space to around 30 ideas for each one.
Quick collaboration sessions over Google Docs can be so fun! Seeing people type and this being backed up with voice and video can be a super fun experience. It also takes away from the pressure and awkwardness of ‘talking’.
It definitely helped us connect as a community. ❤️
And here is the raw list…
- Sharing best practices
- Watch talks about unschooling and do a discussion around it
- Listen to podcasts about unschooling and do a twitter thread of learnings
- Create a shared page of things that Unschoolers SHOULDN’T DO
- Group activity (bring ya kids)
- Twitter Chat
- Play together on Roblox
- Unschooler parent therapy group
- Find unschooler around you
- Start regular discussions on a Reddit
- Host a Twitter Space
- Create a Twitter hashtag.
- Shared Miro of unschooling activities
- Share victories and doubts
- Pair learning from more experienced unschooler ❤️
- Playbook of unschooler resources - repository
- Free coaching sessions
- Start a whatsapp group
- Minecraft sessions
- Creating a digital garden where they can find things.
- Rent an unschooler
- Unschooler tea session
- Unschooler POTLUCKS every month!
- Unschooler coffee session
- Unschooler wine session
- .Create a lesson together from a textbook etc..
- .Write a book together with unschoolers!
- Audio discussions via Capiche
- Unschooler kids playing together
Community: Blockchain Women
- Create a curriculum of learning blockchain concepts together
- Build something together as we learn
- Women leading blockchain sessions
- (Mini) tutorials
- IG Video Reels? :)
- Host Meetups
- Interviews of women in Blockchain (video, podcasts)
- DIRECTORY! Create a page where you can find and list all women in Blockchain
- INTRO INTO BLOCKCHAIN SESSION
- Create a Twitter list of Blockchain women
- Post questions about Blockchain using a hashtag
- Series of icebreaker sessions (every other week, same people!)
- Tea Time - have tea and share their disputable teas on controversial topics in blockchain
- Questions & Answers page - Discourse
- Invite 100 potential women on landing page - to learn about blockchain and see how much you convert (so after you can go talk to experts)
- Create a wiki about 0-100 in blockchain technology.
- Skillshare Club
- 5-min presentation parties
- Clubhouse panel discussion
- Credibility sessions where women support each other on their careers
- Being a women in tech industry session
- Create a series of NFTs together that explain what NFTs are
- Do something on BitClout
- What are the needs - What you can give page (Every people share their needs and gives)
- Start a newsletter
- Monthly challenge as it relates to learning a blockchain topic
- Blockchain + [Something else] parties (wine, coffee, fashion, environment-y stuff???)
Community: UX Designers
- Tools library
- Create a knowledge base
- Run AMAs with other, (more experienced?) designers
- Create images to educate
- Highlight other designers images on a platform of your choice
- [Day] UX Hack - encourage others to share a UX Hack that they use
- Random stranger shout out
- Curating designer work
- Showcase your work - Feedbacks (love this! Live feedback sessions!)
- Fail library of research and what has been tested and tried
- Share best practices as templates in a giant Figma board (only members get access!)
- Challenges every month where they can work on a case together
- Demo Day!!!!
- I did this looking for feedback sessions
- Quiet working sessions
- Talent shows - share what you built recently
- Get designers to design something in a Google Doc 🤣
- Landing page feedback, designer feedback
- Create a UX page together!
- Create a mentorship program
- Create a buddy system program
- Create an IG where members can post their work
- Twitter discussion on a cool UX topic
- Book club
- Take a page and investigate it (Bad or Good UX - Decide together)
- Offer portfolio workshops for junior designers
- Have design Challenge
- Office Hours with experts?
- Career page
- Peer support groups (pair people up week over week)
Community: Music Fans
- New album listening parties (in an audio space!)
- Virtual Cafe meetups - everyone shares one song to listen to; added to the cafe playlist
- Have a a page with one song with a thread section on it (upvote / downvte)
- People sharing their playlists and discuss on it
- Shared playlists
- Social music listening?
- Music pairing - Send me a music and I will introduce somebody that likes this music as well, then you chat
- Sharing hums
- Live Jam sessions
- Random.Groups of 10 people that are fan of the same music style
- Big shared resource with links to Playlist and accompanying inspo/stories around them
- Partnerships with Indie Artists
- Spotify playlist as a discussion point
- Create a fun activity game related to music
- Weekly twitter discussion where members share a new song they found in the last week
- Vibe with your tribe gigs
- Song Exploder podcast listening party
- Q&A sessions with song writers, musicians, producers
- New music radar every week where community pick the songs
- Share interesting stories behind songs (+1)(+1)
- Virtual meetup where ppl cook food + NO video, JUST listen to everyone’s favorite songs together
- Have an artist come and speak at the one of the meetups about their journey into the music industry
- A poetry day about music
- Make cupcakes together that represent your fave types of music
- Dress-up party where you dress up as your favorite artist and talk about which fave song you like and why
- Make t-shirts together about your favorite music!!
- Individual tweets about a song to encourage discussion
- Questions about songs. E.g. How does x song make you feel?
- Music Genre Battles (It can be a bit messy 🙊)
- Creating a 24H record on youtube where people add their music to the next
- People sing together on musically
- Create virtual sonar sessions? An artist show up and fans meet and gather in this new virtual tool
- Wine and vibe music sessions
- TikTok videos and music
- Vote a new music
- Bracket challenge by genre
- Music X Dinner (Which music is suitable for which kind of dinner)
- Music X Dress (Choosing dress for right music)
Community: Mindfulness creators/contributors
- Mindfulness creators who blog list, expand this for specific niches
- Half day conference with different creators
- Best practices
- Sharing tools (What kind of tools/technologies you are using)
- Run meetups
- Slack community
- Hike outside during the weekends + tea where someone presents what they’ve learned about mindfulness
- Mindfulness Monday - where you do a Live interview someone about how they got into mindfulness and share it with everyone else
- Mindfulness News - curate a list of recent findings about mindfulness
- Facebook groups
- Join ppl in small (support) groups
- Daily 5 min meditation - followed by 1 icebreaker (short daily sessions?)
- Twitter threads highlighting people in the mindfulness space
- Partner with medito - free app for meditation
- Newsletter interviewing people
- Special sessions
- Training for trainers (+1)
- IG Live series, different prompt every day, gather stories and retell them on IG
- Offer a space for creators to share their routines / trainings and vote on the best
- Local spring wellness session in the park?
- Sessions where people sharing their special methods
- Share experiences using different apps
- Creating “Impact of the meditation” blog together
- Run fundraisers for raising mental health awareness
- Accountability buddies
- Raise funds or resources for a cause together
- People joining other people’s session as a guest instructor
- Identify gaps of mindfulness creators and fill the space with lists or resources
- Ask creators to create a daily video message to share on your “feed”
- Monthly themed ‘expo’ on a specific theme/topic (bring both sides together to jam)
- Choosing the right music/dress for mindfulness
Community: Community Builders making an impact
- Directory (airtable)of social impact initiatives in town / region/ country etc..
- Free and open forum - Discourse
- Sharing best practices
- Interviews social impact entrepreneurs
- A library of playbook for social impact by industry - Like open source
- Propose to match volunteers with social impact companies
- Gather all the worries and questions of actual leaders and create a newsletter around it where others can answers
- Run collab working sessions (like we are here) to come up with ideas how to make more impact
- Do live sessions on youtube/facebookOffer weekly mentoring/coaching sessions
- Lists of ways to create a social impact
- Create a map of people doing things in different parts of the world.
- Create a Twitter list of people
- Write a Tweet about each person on said Twitter list
- Interview people on Twitter
- Host an AMA
- Set a social impact goal, ideate how you can get there in 30 days as a group (how can they involve their communities to help meet it!)
- Hashtag following specific trends
- Create a reward mechanism for work done and highlight the work/impact
- Shared resource: A big list of organizations to support, give to (approved by our community)
- Bi-weekly accountability meetups
- Bring people whose life has changed due to the community
- Twitter Space conversations about the impact each member is trying to make
- Run social impact hackathons
- Organize social impact challenges
- Themed 30 day challenges
- Monthly gratitude challenge - where every member creates a hand-written letter to someone in Community building space that they appreciate.
- Create a list of resources of all the community builders that are categorized by purpose (env, sustainability, feminism, etc.
- Create an email chain of stories that people are actioning
- Community Social Impact toolkit - Create something other community builders can use to give back Hopeful stories, not sad ones!
- Create a fun community quilt of IG Stories where you share where you are making an impact in
- Share habits that people can adopt on Twitter to create social impact.
- Create the ultimate directory of social impact communities
- C Corp? (Like B Corp) This group creates a set of requirements and gives communities their stamp of approval if requirements are met
Community: Spreadsheet people who want to learn to code
- Weekly assignments and code reviews
- Share screenshots of formulas or spreadsheets
- Share neat excel shortcuts
- Have a Miro board with some steps by steps
- To learn it, create a challenge adventure
- Build something together!
- Build a spreadsheet of all of your learnings with everyone
- Pull in spreadsheet experts to share their journey into spreadsheets
- One off discussion about innovative spreadsheets
- Bi-weekly story-time to share our most impactful creation with spreadsheets
- Build a new kind of spreadsheet together?!
- Share worst spreadsheet experiences
- Make spreadsheets not suck LOL
- Depending on your level you receive specific assignments to master your spreadsheet skills
- Create Spreadsheet TikTok
- Spreadsheet conference (held within the spreadsheet during a timeframe)
- The spreadsheet newsletter (I don’t know what it is?)
- Wall of shame of spreadsheet or Wall of proudness (then people vote on it)
- Shared spreadsheet templates (only members have access)
- People who learn code with spreadsheet share their experiences
- Build a Spreadsheet Ninja course
- Tutorials that show amazing things that people can say woah!
- Spreadsheet boardgames :D +1
- Build a spreadsheet game!!
- Make Spreadsheet Great Again Memes
- Give and Take weekly Spreadsheet (one side drop what you have to share with the group, on the other side what you need, let members help each other. Update weekly/monthly?)
- Build a community on a spreadsheet
- Build Rosieland on a spreadsheet
- Twitch live session where people build spreadsheet on the go
- Create a Google Spreadsheet Party