I share with you my thoughts on the possible ways to develop Edgeryders online community in Tunisia and other MENA countries. This work is the result of several interviews conducted with coworking space managers, aspiring, new and experienced entrepreneurs during the last 3 months
1. First impressions
The presentations of the benefits of joining our platform, the Open Village concept and our projects were a huge success among our interviewees. We explained how our collaboration could fit their professional projects which fueled their curiosity to visit our platform immediately to explore its content.
Enabling registration directly through Facebook profile or Google address could make the user experience friendlier.
In order to draw attention to the activities organized by the community, it is preferable to highlight events such as the open festival village, social innovation camp…
2. Online community engagement
The majority of the interviewees who have already subscribed to Edgeryders platform spend most of their time discovering the content rather than producing content. Their withdrawal from contributing to the discussions could be explained by the poor English language skills of a significant number of the subscribers since English is a third language in Tunisia after Arabic and French. Moreover, documenting and reporting are not a common practice in the Tunisian professional environment. However, I think we must be more welcoming and engaging to the new members of the platform by opening discussions on MENA oriented subjects.
Since the community is growing, it is becoming more challenging to match members of the platform manually. Integrating an artificial intelligence to invite members to interact with each other on subjects of their interest could enrich our discussions.
It is preferable to integrate an API that translates the content to give the platform a multilingual dimension. This could help members of our community to ignore the language barrier and widens the range of our discussions.
3. User profiling
Taking into consideration the possible distinguishment between two types of community members: content creator and inactive community members (readers), there are two possible ways to develop thecommunity. We could help convert inactive members into content producers or simply provide good content to attract more ‘readers’ (inactive community members).
The online community calls experience
We have organized seven community calls. The guests are mainly from Egypt and Tunisia.
Outcomes of the Community Calls in Tunisia
|Yosser Belghith||Offline community development for coworking spaces||The online community call was an opportunity for Hugi and Yosser to meet and co-organise a hackathon in OurGhema.|
|Dorsaf Nasseur||How to bootstrap your biohacking space||Dorsaf and Winnie (community member) had a funding agreement with the partners of a biohacking space in Belgium.|
|Syrine Bousslema||Data collection and prototyping an AI platform||After the community call, Syrine was contacted by an inactive member of the platform, Salem Jedidi, who invited her to participate in a hackathon organized by the company he works for as data scientist. Syrine won the hackathon and she landed a one year contract with the hackathon host company to consolidate her AI skills and to launch her project later.|
4. Community development perspectives
Edgeryders Social Innovation Lab is a laboratory for positive social change inspired from the community calls that Edgeryders community members have been carrying out for years and which have borne fruit in many socio-economic contexts, particularly in Europe and North Africa. The lab involves a diversity of stakeholders concerned about social issues: state actors, private companies and foundations, associations, universities, and people directly affected by the subject (citizens, users).
By networking this ecosystem of people, a realistic perspective of the community issues will be projected through the Edgeryders Platform. Such perspective helps inspiring the lab innovations driving the social development thanks to the collaboration of the diverse cultures and expertise of the Edgeryders Platform members.
Edgeryders Students Brunch: We noticed that the majority of the participants of the workshops and events are students. Such demographic is important for the future of the platform. Edgeryders Students Brunch could be an extension of Edgeryders Social innovation Camp independently organized by students: a way to extend our social change makers community and to allow more people to contribute to the conversation.
XLab: A local one day lab that helps dissect a social problem and look for the different possible solutions.