Watch out for the community ideas trap

Rosie Sherry
4 min readNov 29, 2023

🌈 Originally published on Rosieland

☀️ One of the wonderful things about community are all the amazing possibilities.

There are so many things we could do!

So many great ideas to make our world a better place.

They’d all be great and be so valuable, if we could just get them to work.

IF only.

New community ideas are distracting

☀️ One of the hardest things about community are all the amazing possibilities.

In the excitement of new community ideas we can forget about the negative impact.

New community ideas are:

  • notoriously hard to get off the ground
  • prone to failing
  • no real connection to existing work
  • need time to mature
  • are often actually not that valuable
  • exhausting
  • distracting
  • clutter and overwhelm the user experience
  • taking you away from the real work

Of course, take this perspective with a pinch of salt. This doesn’t mean all ideas are bad. It’s more that we should be aware of the downsides of them too.

The reality is community ideas are great until you realise the work you truly have to do to get them off the ground AND bring value.

Before you adopt a new community idea…

I have to admit I’m a sucker for new community ideas. It gets me into trouble. Though it does also take me places. It’s hard to find the balance.

Before jumping into a new community idea, consider the following:

✨ Prototype the community idea

A community prototype could exist in many different ways, for example:

  • Before starting a new channel for conversations, start some discussions around your ideas first.
  • Before launching a new channel, create a private one and share it with the team of core members.
  • Before committing to a series of content, create one piece and evaluate the success.

I personally love prototyping because it helps me see things in action. Maybe I’m more of a…

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Rosie Sherry

I ❤️ building communities • Researching, writing and creating community things at rosie.land