Building a community from scratch

Q1: How would you start a new community from scratch - Best platforms/ Best practices/ Things to avoid?

What do respondents say?

Daniel Matisto Phiri (@malgamves) Developer Advocate at Strapi, brings an interesting perspective here. “ I don't think people start communities per se. Communities are formed around a common struggle and then nurtured.” Most contributors echo the same sentiment. Leandro Margulis (@leanmarg), VP Developer Relations at UnifyID, advises that you focus on building value and trust.

In summary, the recommendations are:

  • Start with the existing community and work your way from there.

  • Look for the places that people ask for help and where they talk about the technology.

  • Use these findings to define a mission and purpose for the community.

Leon Stigter (@retgits), Sr Product Manager at Lightbend, discusses the importance of inclusive communities. “Creating a genuinely safe and inclusive space is both hard and mandatory. New people want to join a group where they feel safe enough to ask questions and participate.” It also brings up the question of what not to share on devrel community platforms.

Respondents advice devrel to:

  • Avoid sales pitches and marketing messages.

  • Stick to content that delivers value.

  • Evaluate engagement and prioritize content accordingly.

Discord was a favourite among the choice of platforms for community building. Easy engagement and positive use of tools are the key reasons why developers choose Discord. Stackoverflow and Slack are close favourites as well.