Share your knowledge

“Knowledge is only good if you apply it, right? But here’s one thing a lot of people don’t consider: Sharing knowledge is a great application. You might not be a teacher, but if you act like one, you’re already applying knowledge. All it takes is a mindset shift.”

How to Retain More From the Books You Read (Pocket)

Community changes how we engage with customers

“Something I have been consistently hammering on about for a number of years is that communities are going to change how we build businesses and engage with customers. […]

Communities provide an incredible environment to not just build relationships between customers and companies, but between customers and customers too. These kinds of communities can generate enormous value, very tangible results, and deliver fulfilling, lasting experiences.”

Community as a Competitive Advantage (Jono Bacon)

Running the gauntlet of content moderation

“Peter, who has done this job for nearly two years, worries about the toll that the job is taking on his mental health. His family has repeatedly urged him to quit. But he worries that he will not be able to find another job that pays as well as this one does: $18.50 an hour, or about $37,000 a year.

“Do you know what my brain looks like right now? Do you understand what we’re looking at? We’re not machines. We’re humans. We have emotions, and those emotions are deeply scarred by looking at children being raped all the time, and people getting their heads chopped off.””

The terror queue (The Verge)

A Renaissance for Online Communities: My session from PodCamp Toronto 2020

Note: The following is a companion post to my session “A Renaissance for Online Communities”, presented at PodCamp Toronto 2020 on February 22nd.


A community is not a single place or platform. A community is a connected group of people with something in common.

Communities form around different things. There are communities of place, like your local neighbourhood. There are communities of profession, like web design. And there are communities of interest, like the communities that form around podcasting.

People don’t identify as community members straight away. Showing up at a community event doesn’t mean you’ll feel like a member. At first, we often feel like an outsider, someone dropping in uninvited.

To feel like a community member, we need to achieve a sense of belonging. That sense of belonging grows through participation in shared experiences, both online and offline.

Keep reading…

Lessons from the great Dust Bowl

“Indiscriminate plowing, excessive grazing, and drought had killed off so much plant cover that the wind had simply stolen the region’s soil. Too many settlers had pushed the land beyond its capacity, just as Powell had predicted. The great Dust Bowl would displace some 2.5 million Americans and set off one of the greatest migrations in U.S. history.”

How the West Was Lost (The Atlantic via Pocket)

Here we go again.

The draw of taking part in something bigger

“We all know audio is seeing a resurgence in news media, with publishers experimenting with podcasts and daily briefings on smart speakers. The New York Times is taking it even further, with their “participatory podcasts“, aka conference calls. […]

These calls have been successful in drawing in usually several hundred subscribers, with a broad mix of demographics — including international subscribers. The Times could easily just release these conversations as podcasts but that would miss out on the community-building aspect. […]

By being live, and taking listener questions, these calls foster a sense among subscribers that they are part of something bigger than themselves. This is one of the reasons more and more media organisations have been trialing membership programs; it helps to increase retention as well.”

Unexpected ways publishers engage readers (Twipe)

Position premium membership as an investment

“While Quartz now has a traditional metered paywall, its membership offering is pitched differently than most outlets’ — more as an investment in the reader’s career, almost an educational product.”

How Quartz is rethinking its membership offerings (Nieman Lab)

This piece from Nieman Lab focuses on membership from a news media perspective, but the takeaways are applicable to any organization trying to sell community membership at a premium.