Hello Friends 👋,
When I was writing 7 Supportive Tech Communities You Want To Be Part Of, some thoughts crossed my mind. Why do people want to stay in a community? What makes them willing to volunteer in a community?
For me, these are the things that made me stay, being active and willing to contribute to the communities:
Whenever I join a community, I will introduce myself. And I can get that sense of warmth and welcoming atmosphere from how everyone receives me (and other newcomers). It can be either through emojis, GIFs or welcoming replies. When I didn't get that sense of welcome, I would leave.
In this context, I'm talking about inclusivity in general. There was a time when I joined a community and felt like an outsider. I remember I was a total newbie. And I asked a super noob question. It was a while before anyone responded. And the only response that I got was, "It's very basic, bro. It's easy. Have you googled?" (Oh, yes. I remember that response clearly as if I heard it yesterday.) First of all, oh, please. I'm not a 'bro' and definitely not your bro! Second, it may be easy for you, but not for me. Have you never been a newbie? And most importantly, friends, that kind of response makes newbies doubt themselves and feel like they don't belong in tech. So, yes. I'm totally staying in an inclusive community 🙌.
Not gonna lie. One of the reasons I join a community is to get a support system. I need people to ask questions, give me feedback, and get mentorships. I need friends with whom I can share my ups and downs and who have the same interest as I do (of course, I'm talking about tech). A supportive community will always get your back. And because I get that support, I will not only stay but also give back to the community. I contribute and volunteer to support other members with whatever I can.
Size of the community
I'm an introverted and shy person. So a huge community is usually overwhelming for me. It takes a lot of work to catch up with the conversations. Also, I often have trouble figuring out where to start. And it would be worse if the community lacked moderators. I usually stay, but more as a quiet passenger. Small to medium size communities usually are inclusive and more intimate. And I often found myself not only sticking around but also being active in these sizes of communities.
The founder(s), the team, and the volunteers
I found myself staying in communities where the founder(s), the team, and the volunteers are actively engaging with the members and know their members. What makes a community great is when all members can interact with the community's core team. In my opinion, that's one thing that makes people feel included.
Acknowledgement and appreciation
Here is an example. A maintainer in your community approaches you and says, "Hey, I remember you gave an idea about X the other day. We think it sounds great for our community. Will you talk more about it?" The community remembers that you gave the idea, although it's already been passed. And they even ask you if you want to talk more about it. Not only do they acknowledge you, but they also appreciate you! I will definitely stay and give my all when I get such acknowledgment and appreciation in a community. I mean, who doesn't 😀?
Now I'm curious.
What are you looking for in a community when you think of joining? And if you're part of a community, what makes you stay? Even better, what about the community that makes you active in engaging and volunteering or contributing? I would love to hear from you! Drop your thoughts in the comment below 😀