I joined Public Lab, The Building in Public Community. Founded and created by Kevon Cheung.
I've always been a massive supporter of online community. From location-based communities, to niche-based communities. I've tried as moderator and even as creator. A lot of great lessons learned.
The mantra is always to “find like-minded individuals who share the same interest. And to learn and to help each other.” As it should be.
And of course the downsides, there'll be fights, trolling and showing off. The reason why we need moderators.
I've created a few ones and often times failed to maintain the momentum. It's not all about the excitements and having fun. It's about the give and take. It's about whether you're open enough to ask for help and be present when others ask for your help. It is whether you have the empathy to give more than just giving answers when asked. I'm guilty of being that robot-answering-machine.
Community should be your other family apart from the real one.
That's what I like about the building in public community. We can talk about the things that make us uncomfortable. And I like that the community is keeping it small with 8 members for each group. So we can mingle with each other.
I know for a fact that everyone is still trying to get used to the whole building in public thing. But that's expected right? It should be awkward and scary. You're showing your flaws as well in building a business in public.
Eventually, people will drop out. If you don't gain any value, there's no point to stay right? Yes, but I would tell the opposite. Stay.
Building a community is never easy. As a creator myself, I would build it based on my OWN expectations and beliefs. The fact that I created the community is because I already have the confidence. So it is normal when some members feel out of place or “this is not for me”.
But don't let it stop you to make it as your own. Start by sharing what's on your mind.
What are you afraid of when building in public? Or what's stopping you from starting? The key ingredient of having a good community is openness. The community is there to help you.
You might have envisioned it differently before joining but that doesn't mean you can't change it later.
So, stay to understand more about yourself. And what the space can help you. And try to make it your own.