Reset

A Challenging Question

In talking with Chris Brogan for his new podcast recently, he said something I've been thinking of ever since. It was a question that you ask yourself when evaluating new opportunities. This question didn't actually come from Chris—I believe he said it was from one of his other podcast guests—but Chris is the one who implanted it in my head.

The question is: How will this new opportunity help me serve the community I already have?

Wow. Tough question.

Read More

Fame vs. Community: The Small Army Model

I don't often discuss news articles or reblog things from elsewhere, but I loved a recent article on an independent musician who recently raised $1.2M through Kickstarter for her new album.

A couple of things struck me from this story.

Point #1: “It doesn’t feel like a windfall,” Ms. Palmer said in an interview before the party. “It feels like the accumulated reward for years and years of work.”

Read More

Welcome, New Readers (What AONC Is All About)

Awesome people of The $100 Startup event: San Francisco, Tuesday, May 29th

Greetings from Santa Cruz, California—soon heading down to Los Angeles for a book reading party at Vroman's bookstore tonight.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. The $100 Startup launched as an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. We've sold 30,000 copies in the first three weeks and plan to reach many more people over the next few months with the message of freedom and value.

Read More

How to Conduct an Online Survey

As I mentioned in last week's survey invitation, when you’re trying to build a business, blog, non-profit, or pretty much any venture, regularly checking in with your peeps is an important way to make sure you know who they are and what they want.

This is especially important when it comes to a) transition points in the growth of your community, or b) product development at any time. Surveys allow you to take the pulse of a large group of people in a short period of time -- and because of how sampling works, you don't actually need to hear from all of them to know what most of them are thinking.

Read More

What Makes a Community?

community

Every day I get emails from all kinds of fun people who are getting started on the journey of building an online community. Some of them want advice, and I'm happy to help wherever I can.

I always say to take my $0.02 for whatever it's worth, and ignore me if something works better for you. Also, I'm focusing here on online communities, but they share many of the same characteristics as offline ones.

In the 279 Days report, I wrote about the practical aspects of community building. We looked at RSS vs. email, how to create an e-book, and so on.

This post will look more closely at the underlying philosophy of a community. First of all, what makes a community? Definitions abound, but here's mine:

A community is a group of people united through a common struggle with the same stories.
Let's look at the definition and related features in more detail.

Read More