You want to be told what you think of yourself.
If you think you’re a brilliant game designer, you want to be told you’re a brilliant game designer. It’s self-verification.
But you don’t want to be told by just anyone. You want to be told by people whose opinions matter to you. You want to be told by people you think are similar to you.
You can find these people by joining an online community. You will get involved and work hard to get these opinions.
This has implications for building an online community. First, try to identify what most people in the group think of themselves. If you run a community for young entrepreneurs, it’s a safe bet they think they are good for their age at business. Tell them so. But when you tell them, give reasons relating to their participation in the community to justify your opinion. It's more credible.
Second, build a community culture that focuses on individuals rather than collectives. Constantly give opinions on individuals, celebrations champions, set individual milestones and recognise people when they achieve them. This can only happen if you lead the way. Everyone else will take their cues from you. The more it happens, the more it will happen.