Many communities rely on online platforms and communication tools to stay connected and to host events. On this page we have highlighted several blog posts about building and sustaining communities online. We have also produced a guidebook, accompanying appendix, and other resources for how to get started building an engaging and inclusive community on Slack.
Community manager experiences
- Building Trust in Online Communities – by CEFP2019 Fellow Julianna Mullen
- Should I Stay or Should I Go? Considering switching platforms in an early stage community – by CEFP2017 Fellow Melissa Varga
- Online platforms are still making inroads in scientific communities – Survey data showing some of the communication channels and platforms used by scientific communities
From theory to practice
- The Community Lifecycle – Converting theory to practice as a community manager – CSCCE Director, Lou Woodley discusses a community lifecycle model and how it relates to community manager roles
- Considering Community: The Connect-Align-Produce network model for social-impact networks – Lou Woodley explains an additional model for the progression of networks convened for social impact.
- Why do academics use social networking sites? – Lou explores a paper describing a survey about key motivators for participation in two online academic social networks.
by Lou Woodley and Katie Pratt
This guidebook is intended for community managers, but may also serve others who are looking to build an inclusive and engaging online community in Slack.
by Lou Woodley and Katie Pratt
This appendix contains several resources to accompany our guidebook. It includes a Slack intentions worksheet, information about the "Invite bot," an example of a new member survey, an example of a weekly newsletter, and a pre-launch checklist.
If you’re looking for more resources about planning and hosting virtual events, please visit this resource page.
Virtual tools trials
Our virtual tools trials bring together interested members of our community of practice to try out platforms that might be useful for convening communities online. Our tools trials are ongoing, so if you have a platform you’re interested in trying, or would like to co-host a trial and share your experience, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
After each trial, we share a recap of our findings on our blog, each of which includes a link back to the full collaborative notes document from the trial. Find out more about:
- QiqoChat – a tool for online conferences
- Mural/Padlet/Jamboard – tools for brainstorming and ideation
- Gather – a conferencing and networking platform (in which you can also host virtual escape rooms)
- Etherpad+Video – a tool for collaborative writing with in-doc video chat
- Remo – a conferencing and networking platform
- Wonder – a lightweight, spatially-controlled, networking platform
- Butter – a video-conference tool with additional functionality such as integration with other online tools and enhanced facilitation capability
- Discourse – an open-source community discussion platform that can be tailored to meet the needs of a range of communities