I'd like to hear some thoughts on how to grow and scale online communities. In the video above, one of the founders of Reddit talks about how the site was started. They created "fake" user accounts to give the appearance that a more diverse set of people submitted content. When Facebook started, it was constrained to Harvard, which perhaps gave it the appearance of being a prestigious to get into, and many new startups these days limit their initial signups with waiting lists and invite mechanisms. I'd like to hear stories of other communities getting their start, and what strategies are more successful than others. Are there certain kinds of people to invite first? Certain kinds to ignore?

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Seeding a new online community Geoff Stearns

  •  Jeffrey Kalmikoff
  •  Josh Miller
  •  Joshua Davis
  •  Octavian Costache
  •  Jeffrey Zeldman
  •  Mark O'Sullivan
  •  Laura Gluhanich
  •  Darius A Monsef IV
  •  Micah Baldwin
  •  Derek Powazek
  •  David Spinks
 × Growing Reddit - CS253 Unit 7 - Udacity youtube.com
Geoff Stearns

I'd like to hear some thoughts on how to grow and scale online communities.

In the video above, one of the founders of Reddit talks about how the site was started. They created "fake" user accounts to give the appearance that a more diverse set of people submitted content.

When Facebook started, it was constrained to Harvard, which perhaps gave it the appearance of being a prestigious to get into, and many new startups these days limit their initial signups with waiting lists and invite mechanisms.

I'd like to hear stories of other communities getting their start, and what strategies are more successful than others. Are there certain kinds of people to invite first? Certain kinds to ignore?

Geoff Stearns

As a bonus question, I'd also like to hear about tech startup specifically breaking out of the tech industry bubble. Being so entrenched in the startup culture it's sometimes harder to grasp the actual impact that startups have in the "real world." For instance, if you asked 100 random people throughout the US, how many would know what Quora or Path is?

Pinterest is a recent example that comes to mind that wasn't even on many people's mind and they suddenly were a huge hit among non-tech people. So how did they do it? Who did they invite first?

Jeffrey Kalmikoff

From a product perspective, I think a big part of building a community is always giving your users the feeling that they have a real platform for their ideas. If you're starting from scratch, you're going to be constantly feature-adding/editing as your community grows and evolves. In doing so, you can glean the trends of what feature types work and which ones don't for your *current* community. As long as the clock is ticking, your community is changing, so putting a product in front of them that's as useful as possible is a job with no end. Though its helpful to be as active in your community as possible so you don't have to rely 100% on external feedback to call out product friction or pain points.

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