Launch and Grow Online Communities Like a Pro

Practical Community Management. Introduction

Table of contents

  1. Who is this course for?
    1. 1. To be concise and comprehensive at the same time
    2. 2. To be practical
  2. How to get the most from this course?

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for practitioners who would like to learn time-tested techniques on how to make their community grow naturally. It covers all important topics starting from setting up a new community and attracting first contributors and up to scaling a community with volunteers’ help and managing conflicts between users. All what matters and not a bit more.

The course is built on two key principles.

1. To be concise and comprehensive at the same time

How many times have you started reading an interesting book but the knowledge was so sparse that you thought “Oh, it would be a good book, if the author wrote just a few dozen pages instead of a few hundreds.” A big goal of the course is to make the information as condensed as possible while covering all critical ideas in enough detail.

2. To be practical

A lot of materials on community management today are written in terms of very high level definitions. As a result most of us can impress friends at a cocktail party by talking about a sense of belonging but very little can explain to a product manager what exact changes the dev team needs to make to affect the sense of belonging of our community. This course should fulfill this gap: provide the practical “what” setting the talkative high level part aside.

How to get the most from this course?

The optimal way is to go through the course from the beginning to the end. If you don’t have time for that, you can create your own learning path.

  • Community 101. The essentials one needs to know before launching a community. This section contains the basic definitions that everyone who is in any way related to communities, from moderators to executives, needs to know. Please, be sure to go through this section.
  • Community as a product. The knowledge in this section will allow you to look under the hood of online communities and see it through the lens of its main components. Please, study this section as well. It will be especially useful for product managers, community managers, and anyone who thinks about creating an online community.

There should not be any mystery left about how online communities work after the first two sections of the course.

  • Getting off the ground. Reaching the critical mass. The knowledge in this section will help those who are starting a new community from scratch. If you already have a community, you can skip this section.
  • Scaling. Grow your community. This section is for those who already have a self-sufficient community and their primary goal is growing it.
  • Managing conflicts in online communities. Knowledge in this section is essential for those who are actively participating in a community.

The last section, Community health metrics, is optional. You can skip it, if you don’t plan to create your own community metrics. Though, the section will be useful to product managers, analysts and community managers who work on large communities and need to track their effort.

I truly believe that the best way to learn something is to do it. I hope that after taking this practical course, you will create a new community or find some opportunities to improve an existing one!

Thank you for dedicating the time to learning! Your users will appreciate it!