Everyone Has A Different Journey

I like this from StackOverflow.

“Q&A tends to be somewhat competitive and adversarial. This means that users often get answers to their questions within minutes. But not everyone enjoys that sort of activity. So we are experimenting with another way to contribute to the art and science of programming. We call it Documentation. In its first year, users have created 21,954 examples organized in 6761 topics and representing 890 tags. Our vision of Documentation will only succeed when many developers pitch in with improving edits.”

It takes a lot of empathy to understand how the environment you shape influences the emotions of members. It takes even more to see how that the same behavior that drives a lot of activity prevents others from participating entirely.

If you don’t think you can give the first or best answer, why contribute at all?

Everyone has a different journey through your community. Your job isn’t to force everyone through (and try to optimize) a single journey but to identify and develop multiple ways people can participate which reflects their authentic behavior.

Competitive communities will always attract a small group of loyalists yet be off-putting to others. So how else can you persuade people to participate?

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