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There are many aspects to address when trying to nail down the most effective ways to increase the vitality of your project. Where does one begin when there are so many variables to consider? One of the first places you can start is with the community. Communities are such a valuable resource and can be seen as one of the most important aspects of any project. The stronger a community is, then realistically, the stronger a project can become. There are many reasons for this and we’re going to go into detail about why a healthy community allows for a healthy project.
Why does a healthy community create a healthy project?
A project’s community can be a crucial source of developers which help drive the project forward. If the code of a project is open source then the developers are able to build applications on top or build applications which interact with the project, strengthening its ecosystem. An open source blockchain project relies on these external developers to take the project to the next level as they are the ones who are able to build the uses cases, which could potentially spread the use of the project to a much wider community.
Additionally, it is the work of independent developers that also lends weight to the project’s credibility as a whole. We have to stop and ask ourselves: why would someone go to such lengths to build on top of a project that was worthless? The short answer is – they wouldn’t.
An active and growing developer community shows that the project has value, that people are willing to spend their time working with it and for it, independently of the project’s direction. It shows that people really believe that there is worth in strengthening the project in ways they feel it has the chance to change and augment people’s lives.
There is clear solidification of purpose and quality in the project founders’ vision when there is a healthy developer community. It is something that should be fostered and encouraged, and if achieved will give strength to the project – long after even the lives of the founders.
Another way that projects can benefit from a healthy community is that the community can stand as the first and willing line of defence from external attacks. There is a phenomenon which has inhabited the blockchain space since the development of Bitcoin in 2008 which has come to be known as FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. This is common across all markets but has taken up residence particularly strongly in the blockchain space.
Misinformation has essentially been weaponised. Competing projects have engaged with spurious myth making about another project’s intentions, or the discovery of certain vulnerabilities in the project’s code have become widespread. Most of the time, this weaponisation of misinformation has been done so in order for the person or entity doing the weaponising to gain financially at the expense of others. For example, it would be common for the malicious party to short a large number of another project’s tokens and start the spread of misinformation – hoping that these so-called revelations would be able to crash the price of the other project, only for them to buy back in at a much lower level. And this would then be done again – i.e. rinse and repeat.
Therefore, a healthy community is essential to guard against such attacks and dispel any of the FUD conjured up to destabilise the project. A strong community can act as gatekeepers and protect the integrity of a project by mobilising resources behind the counter-challenge being made by the community. However, we don’t want to encourage some of the levels of partisan engagement which would be considered negative for example, an over-exuberance which would lead to members being censored for asking legitimate questions. Nonetheless, a healthy and active community can act as a valuable line of defense.
Pool of Ideas
Another interesting way that the community can benefit and contribute to the strength of a project is to propose ideas to the team on the direction they wish to see the project take. We understand that there are numerous reasons why this might not be considered desirable by you, however, it still may be useful to ask the community on their opinions. Furthermore, if the opinions are good, it would save you from thinking them up yourself. Additionally, engagement with the community in such a way also creates a sense of trust which can be an invaluable source of strength for the project and demonstrates to the wider community that the project’s leadership appreciate them.
What are some of the best ways to foster growth in your community?
One of the best ways to bring people into the community and to introduce them to the project is to reward participation in certain areas which can be defined by the project. For example, this could take the shape of an airdrop or, even more effectively, a bounty programme which will reward members of the community for contributing content to the project. This content could range from a video going into depth about the strengths of the project, to an infographic with eye catching visuals, to an article written about the project or members of the team. Essentially, a system of rewards could also be set-up for people who have referred others or simply just to encourage people to come and see what the project is about.
It is also essential to keep the focus on the community. Keep these supporters at the centre of the project – this will allow them to feel that they are a valued part of the venture and will also demonstrate that you care about them individually. Keep lines of communication open between you and the community and show them that you are prepared to listen to their thoughts and concerns. This will also make your project one of the most community-friendly out there. This will organically grow the community as the word spreads that the community is treated well by your project. Enabling an environment where the people who join want to remain will do wonders for your narrative and also for the project’s stability as those who invest or build on the project will want the project to succeed. A stronger collective makes for all the right ingredients for a strong and successful project.
Offering grants to developers would be a fantastic way of strengthening your community. You could offer a round of developer grants that would fund individuals or groups in creating applications on top of your project. It is often the case that there are some people with ideas but they lack the means to get the project off the ground. This would enable them to focus on developing something that would really benefit the community. If you look at this, offering grants to developers is actually one of the key ways to grow your project, as it builds up the community but it also builds up the use cases which are being developed with your project in mind.
Overall, looking after your community should play a central role in your strategy. Without a community, your project is severely weakened. Your community plays an important role and a strong and healthy supporters’ network definitely equates to a strong and healthy project.
Get in touch if you want to book a consultation to learn how we are able to help you. We love hearing from all types of projects are excited to play such a crucial role in the development of the blockchain space as a whole.
EAK Digital is a leading Global Blockchain PR Agency that works with Blockchain start-ups to help them gain mass media coverage across both mainstream and crypto publications alike.
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