How we can spread the Edgeryders message beyond Edgeryders

We’ve got a comms team to do comms. Because we want more people to understand the value that is in the Edgeryders community platform in terms of:

  • great people
  • content
  • and opportunities

Last week I talked with @nadia to figure out - together with her - how I can use my skills the best to make a valuable impact. And we came up with the following:

One of the hurdles Edgeryders currently runs into, is the massive amounts of valuable information, but no clear overview what Edgeryders is all about. In other words, why should “I, as new visitor (possible new community member or new partner/funder) trust Edgeryders - and subsequently join and become active” in the community.

We have a lot of great standalone threads and stories, but an overarching message is missing:

  1. What is being discussed on Edgeryders right now? (meta)
  2. What results have the projects Edgeryders has been part of had? (who ahve we partnered with, what has been the impact, etc)
  3. Who is Edgeryders?

We can fill this gap. And a, likely, impactful method is by:

  • writing up engaging long-reads with personal thoughts by the founders, and other instrumental members who have been/know the community through and through.
  • push this content in the right channels (Linkedin, Medium, @fsimonov may have some ideas as well).
  • use the longform to cut out nice social lines and use this throughout other social media pushing our threads and stories from the community members on the platform

Over the next few months I will be working several features - which means I’ll have to ask a little bit of time from all of you individually for interviews. Usually, an interview for a profile takes between one and two hours (it depends on the flow: if you feel comfortable, the time will fly by and before you know it, we’ve been talking for several hours). And I will have to do desk-research prior to the interview, and after the interview.

Why these profiles? Character-based narratives are one of the most engaging written forms of storytelling. And to tell the story of something “abstract”, the best manner to make the meta a little less meta, is by letting the story being led by a main character. In this case: you.

Over the next 6 months, I will write 6 different features. But before I start, I think it’s be good to break down who it is I should be talking to.

Tagging some who I think will have some input in who to interview the stories (but if I missed someone, do let me know): @noemi, @nadia, @alberto, @matthias, @johncoate, @natalia_skoczylas, @hugi, @MariaEuler, @amelia, @ anyone else?

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@bob @zmorda @matteo_uguzzoni

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One thought I had earlier today about the “what is Edgeryders” question is that Edgeryders is an opportunity marketplace.

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Throwing this out there, but Craig N (Craigslist) is very reachable and is one of the top traffic web sites in the world - and they have these discussion forms which are a real sideline (maybe they don’t care much about?)…who knows, maybe they’d send some traffic (give some links or such).
Growing organically is very difficult these days because not much is new under the sun…that is, the public doesn’t really see the nuances between one site and the other easily and their attention is already filled up with other sites.
In any case, that type of thing - looking around for forums which are a minor part of a site that the companies may not care about or want any longer is at least something to put in the suggestion box!

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Looking forward to helping you in developing what you’ve wrote @inge!

Regarding the content in the right channels, yes. What I believe we should make use of is: creating from time to time some scripted video content as video is THE THING to be doing right now. We should also make use of slicing stories from the platform and pushing them into Instagram as Instagram stories are still the best medium of reaching large masses organically (organic reach is about 30% or even a bit more).

Regarding Linkedin and Medium, here I believe its good to post updates related to EdgeRyders (more in a sense of projects, grants and so on) to Linkedin and Medium could be a good place to post long-form content as there it can become viral. Here I can help out in framing this so that we get people hyped-up about EdgeRyders on those platforms, but push them into EdgeRyders as there the real thing is happening.

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I really like this - pieces curated by you, essentializing and complementing some of the stuff running on the platform. Lots of editorial work involved, but happy to see it given a try!

I can already say: some of the blog posts I published on edgeryders.eu are posted in a more compelling form on my Medium account, and I have seen them circulated differently than through this platform. The visuals are better seen, and another medium forces you to adapt to another readership, instead of assuming that edgeryders.eu readership is the one and only.

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Great suggestion, @Craigimass! I’m sure it’s something which @fsimonov would probably want to dive in a little bit - growth hacking the edgeryders community ;).
I know he’s approachable, but he also wont budge unless he’s got a positive reference from someone he respects. One of which is Emily Bell (and she’s hard to impress :wink: ).

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Uh I think @johncoate might know Craig from that hippie commune in Tennessee?

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Ulp. Outed.

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B00M!!

Hehe

I stole some of Johns stuff for my Communes, Communications and Community presentation years back. Still spend a lot of time trying to tell people how it was…that is, how this stuff all started. Of course, one has to excuse my slight tendency for storytelling (otherwise known as BS in some circles, but harmless in these cases).

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I see everyone focuses on online channels but I would propose an alternative. Online engagement is often not real enough, it’s easy to press a button to like or similar but conversion rate is rather small.

I am thinking in the direction of something like an ambassador program.
Edgeryders are in many cities, many countries. Why not encourage our members to organise events locally. They don’t have to be big. Start small, with meetups on certain subjects in line with Edgeryders philosophy. Create a value system if you want to motivate people further, or look and see who is motivated and ambitious, who gets things done and want to succeed, and then reward them in any way possible. Make her/him an ambassador for Edgeryders locally.
You could engage people directly, also with specific topics attract people naturally knowledgeable or interested in them. Could try doing events with universities, attract bright minds before they join some dark side :wink:.

Anyways, few ideas for direct engagement. Have you tried going in that direction already?

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Probably too grand of a scheme and has been tried by many over the years (Salons…I think maybe even the Whole Earth Review tried it). People are so busy and have so many interests these days that they tend to find groups on meetup (for face to face)…and there are, in fact, some relatively enlightened groups on there.
Even they tend to get more members then people who show up in the flesh.
FWIW.
I’ve had that experience at various time when I join a group and to a meeting and then, after a while, sit there and think “what am I doing here…??”.
FWIW
Even an enlightened goal is subject to the basic laws of networking and economics…the cost of acquisition of members as well as having conversations with them is almost infinitely lower online.

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Excellent point, and an important one. We are big believers is mixing online with live gatherings. And we do them in various settings and contexts. And we do live group video meetups, which are a nice in-between. And we have larger annual events (I have been to 2 of them - highly recommended to say the least). But as Craig points out, in-person meetings can be hit or miss, so we try to plan them out. In our project work, in-person connections are built into the core of it. When I train people about online community and community management, I put in-person on the table in the first ten minutes.

I should say also that back in the day when online community was first fermenting in the pre-web days, at The WELL, the monthly open house office parties we had were central to the bonding that happened among the people. And they triggered lots of sub-events the people themselves cooked up, dinners, musical gatherings, museum visits, and lots more, some of which still happen regularly after more than 30 years.

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I agree totally on the cost and on people having so many interests now. Knowledge is accessible and a curious person always has a lot on his/hers plate, learning and doing different things ;). Had similar experiences as well with meetups.
The cost, however, goes down drastically in some countries. While it would cost a lot in Switzerland, it certainly wouldn’t in many other countries in development where people earn 200-400 euros/month for example.
There are different ways to get people involved as well.
There are some great examples in board game industry. People there can become ambassadors for a board game publisher by doing a variety of things. They will get a compensation for initiatives which are in line with ambassador program but great majority of people does it (apart from being fans and believing in the brand) for the small extra perks they get and special treatment in some way.
Not saying it should be applied here but just giving an example of alternative ways of doing things.

Doesn’t have to be grand, start very small and see the result, sort of a pilot project. If it works then figure out how to scale it efficiently.

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Yeah I was at LOTE 2 in Brussels and it was mostly amazing. Met some great people and stayed in regular contact with some of them over the years as well…who knows what good will come out of it still but LOTE certainly laid down the foundation for that.

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It’s always great to do multiple community building methods at the same time.
Luckily for well-known brands/movies/games/ngos/etc (or.thosr with a fanbase) it’s easy to get “ambassadors” - unfortunately for smaller lesser known initiatives this is much harder: you’ll first have to make them fans before they’ll passionately help you grow.
And anyway, it’s usually two ways anyway. Because it’s not only about reaching new community members (although very important), but also about possibly building new partnerships, etc. And it helps if they can find interesting stuff about you online which embodies exactly what you’re about :wink:

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So, since we’re focussing on deep green tech this month, it’d be great if we could shine a spotlight on @matthias’ journey, believes, and achievements :). Matthias, when would you have time for a call?

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If this for providing information for you to write something, could you maybe provide me some questions in writing instead? I like that much better … it gives me time to find the right words …

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This reminded me of Italo Calvino’s reflections on what qualities good writing should have in order to survive over time. He was concerned with literature but I find the six memos for the next millenium offer valuable lessons for all.