How to help your community members make meaningful connections? One of the answers for me and for David Kobrosky is making better introductions.
Intros.ai is not a brand new community tool, it's a product that is nailing one specific part of community building: introductions.
In our interview we talked about algorithms, how does Intros.AI work, what (who?) is the AI, why every community needs a Chief Introductions Officer.
Usually what I see in communities it's they start small an cozy and feel very welcoming. After the community starts growing a few things can happen:
- The community will grow very big in numbers but there will be a couple of core small groups of members that constantly talk to each other.
- The community will grow very big the volume of conversation increases and it becomes too noisy.
Both scenarios create a community specific language to keep up with and makes it harder to connect with the existing members for newcomers.
You walked into a party and you don't know anyone there. It's kind of awkward. You have to be so bold to reach out to someone versus you walk into a party, you know, two or three people there. They connect you to everyone else to kind of bring you into this tribe. And then all of a sudden you have multiple friends and you kind of find your group very fast.
Community engagement is currently at the heights of the discussions. How to bring more people in, how to keep them talking. Which recreates the same systems that are already in place with social media: how to capture the attention, how to make people stay in our place and talk strictly here.
While the more important question is: how to help the members feel connected to each other, find the right people, and make the barriers of entry more flexible.
Essentially making the "inside jokes" accessible to everyone.
What differentiates communities and social media is algorithms, or lack thereof. So in that case what is the algorithm for communities? Do you need even algorithm there?
The answer in the perspective of Intros.ai is yes, and no at the same time.
Algorithms are always there to keep you in the loop of the social media. With the focus on your attention and retention as viewer, and user of the content.
In communities the attention/retention model has a different approach: the member will stay in the community if it brings the ultimate value. Which comes in the form of right people, right flow and right content.
IntrosAI is helping community managers to build their own algorithm. Prioritizing what is important for each community, and being transparent about the approach.
Community management too often relies on the emotional labor of the community manager. Why not ease the burden.
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