How to Find the Right Online Communities
The user experience in the big, ungated social networks is getting steadily worse: spam, bots, fake news. One result: I think we’ll see people spending more and more time in gated online communities. Particularly in a time of social distancing, when people can’t meet one another in person.
But…how do you find the right online communities that are worth your while? Filled with conversations worth having and people whom you’d like to meet?
First, I suggest search within the major online community platforms for your industries and functions of interest, in particular:
- Discord Servers
- Google Groups
- LinkedIn Groups
- Slack – full list of Slack Communities
- Slack – Slofile list of Slack groups
Second, I suggest using some of the search engines for finding online communities:
Third, look on an internet search engine for all combinations of words from each of the two columns on the right below, e.g., “New York software engineers group” .
|Category||Your keywords||Synonyms for community|
|Location (or leave blank)||“New York”||“alliance”, “association”, “community”, “conference”, “council”, “forum”, “institute”, “network”, “organization”, “retreat”, “society”, “symposium”|
|Target industry||“fashion”, “health care”|
|Target function||“Software engineers”|
Scott Allen, CEO, TheVirtualHandshake.com, and my coauthor, said, “There are actually a lot of great industry/peer groups on Facebook. Just also a lot of noise, and discovery can be harder. But they’re typically far more active, more closely moderated, and supportive than LinkedIn groups. Austin has some great examples:
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