When we think of communities — we often think about new communities
I'm curious to know, what communities have you been in a while.
I found myself perusing my GoodReads account earlier today — deciding what book to read next. I have been in the GoodReads community and an active member commenting in it for years. I still log the books that I read in there, and highlights, and appreciate how it links with the kindle app seamlessly so I can keep my books with me on the go and across platforms (admittedly something I did a lot more pre-pandemic in NYC.)
Through their integration into my daily habits and the mutual friends I've discovered through reading and similar books — GoodReads has (rightfully) earned their place into my regular community habit routines. I've tried other reading apps or logs, but nothing quite fits the social element as well as the curation and features that GoodReads has.
What makes a community worth sticking around for?
I've stuck around this community for quite some time because of how much it integrates with my day-to-day life but also lets me embrace and share what I'm up to with friends. I even used it for work recently – logging books that are related to community building, with the intention to one day put it into a specific folder (oh the things that I'll do when I have more time).
The community has grown not only in-depth, but in features as well — I recently started using the Readwise app which I appreciate because it allows me to stay on top of books and articles I read in graduate school or when I was pursuing more academic endeavors. I noticed it pulled highlights from my Kindle and GoodReads account, for which I'm a huge fan.
In reality, this is a success story of community design, curation, and connection — readers connecting with other readers to discuss what they're reading and their thoughts on the different books they enjoy.
I found myself falling back in love with reads and comments on sociology books, and keeping up with conversations in the GoodReads forums on them — quite a fun rabbit hole to rediscover, don't you think?
What things should we be thinking about as community builders when it comes to building communities that last?
I don't have any absolute answers, but here are my quick thoughts:
- How are members creating value?
- What are members enjoying about the experience?
- How am I adding surprise and delight to my long-lasting members?
- What other ways can these members connect? How can I facilitate that?
Curious to know — what are your answers? Are you on GoodReads? Let's connect there.
Next up, we might dive into my other long-time community favorites: Runescape, Ravelry, Geocatching, and USA Swimming. 🤪
I'm also curious to know, what are the communities I'm involved in now that will become my next community favorites?