Stupid Apps and Changing the World: Understanding Your Engagement Levels

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Hatched by Glasp

Jul 17, 2023

4 min read

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Stupid Apps and Changing the World: Understanding Your Engagement Levels

In the world of technology, it's easy to dismiss certain apps or ideas as trivial or unimportant. However, history has shown that many significant advancements and world-changing innovations often start off looking like mere toys. This is why it is crucial not to overlook everything that appears trivial at first glance.

When it comes to changing the world with technology, there are two tried and tested strategies. The first is to create something that may be loved by a niche group of people, even if the majority sees it as a mere toy. The second strategy is to be hyperambitious and venture into industries such as electric cars or space travel.

For those who possess the audacity to change the world, I have two pieces of advice. Firstly, do not claim that you are changing the world until you have actually achieved it. It is easy to talk the talk, but the true impact lies in walking the walk. Secondly, ignore the haters and focus on what truly interests you. By pursuing your passions and working on projects that captivate your attention, you are more likely to make a lasting impact.

Understanding your engagement levels is crucial when building and nurturing a community. By analyzing the shapes in your engagement levels chart, you can gain valuable insights into the health and growth potential of your community.

The first shape you may encounter is "Visitor Heavy." This level represents the majority of your community members who have just entered and are at the initial stage of engagement. While it is natural to have a large number of visitors, it is essential to ensure that they see value in sticking around. If your engagement levels chart shows a heavy concentration at the visitor level, it may indicate a lack of value beyond transactional support. To grow your community, you must consider what more you can offer to encourage members to stay and engage further.

On the other hand, if your engagement levels chart displays a high concentration at the "Core Heavy" level, it suggests that you are neglecting members who are not yet ready to be at that level. A healthy community should cater to members at all stages of engagement, not just the most advanced. To foster growth, you need to make your community more welcoming to those who are more casual participants or occasional contributors.

Sometimes, your community may experience bottlenecks that hinder members from progressing to the next level. A "Participation Bottleneck" occurs when there is a significant difference between two levels, but smooth transitions between the others. This bottleneck suggests that something is holding members back from moving up, even when they are ready. Identifying and addressing these unseen barriers is essential to ensure a seamless progression within your community.

Similarly, a "Contribution Bottleneck" may arise if your community primarily focuses on users interacting with one another. This bottleneck indicates that members may lack the necessary skills or access to contribute effectively. For user-oriented communities, it is crucial to empower members to provide support themselves. For product-oriented communities, it is essential to examine if there are processes or tools that exclude potential contributors. By addressing these issues, you can unlock the growth potential of your community.

While reaching the "Core Bottleneck" level requires significant time and effort, it is vital to ensure that unnecessary obstacles do not deter members from making their first contribution. If there is a bottleneck at this level, it is crucial to evaluate the contribution experience. Poor tools, processes, or interactions may discourage first-time contributors from further engagement. By improving the contribution experience, you can encourage more members to actively participate and contribute to the community.

A healthy community will exhibit an ideal distribution of members at each level, with a consistent difference between the numbers. This indicates that every member progresses at their own pace and to their own limits. However, certain communities may have a "Steep Onramp" due to specific knowledge or skills that require significant time or investment. In such cases, it is essential to explore ways to make these skills more accessible or affordable.

Conversely, a "Shallow Onramp" suggests that your community is progressing easily and quickly through the levels. This may be the case if your community is based on widely held skills or interests. However, if you have a skills-based community, a shallow onramp could indicate that you are not reaching as many potential visitors as possible. It may be necessary to promote your community more broadly to attract a diverse range of participants.

In conclusion, understanding your engagement levels is vital for building and growing a thriving community. By analyzing the shapes in your engagement levels chart, you can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to enhance member experiences. To ensure the success of your community, remember these three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Provide value beyond transactional support to encourage members to stay and engage further.
  • 2. Foster a welcoming environment for casual participants and one-off contributors to ensure growth.
  • 3. Identify and address bottlenecks that hinder members from progressing to the next level, unlocking the potential for future growth.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a community that not only changes the world but also provides a meaningful and engaging experience for its members.

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