Erin's Brain // being human in product communities
June 2, 2022
I'm back on the newsletter thing! Partially because I feel myself scrambling on top of my soapbox again. Devastating headline after headline, we've found ourselves forgetting what it means to be human.
We've pushed forward and through when it's rough and prioritized transactional elements — what sale are we making, how many people subscribed, who liked this — over simply checking in and making sure everyone is okay.
As many folks know, one of the side hobbies I've gotten heavily into in the last year is comedy. I'm currently in a sketch workshop to push this muscle further. One of the primary rules we go over is to make sure all of your characters are OK.
Wild-E-Coyote can be smacked on the head with an anvil, and it's funny if it bounces off with a joking sound effect. You know the character is okay. It's far less funny if that anvil followed the traditional rules of physics and smooshed the character to smithereens. We wouldn't know how to carry ourselves.
How are you making sure the leading roles in your life are okay? If you're working in a community space, how do you ensure the time, efforts, and energy among those you interact with are okay?
If you haven't checked in on those around you recently — start.
Make sure those around you are OK.
Catch you on the web🏄🏼
What I'm up to:
The Nuances Behind a Community of Product
Too often we think about what the community will bring to us, promotion, product feedback, word-of-mouth marketing, and general brand awareness. Yes, these tend to be reasons why one would want to build a community — but they tend to not be a good reason as to why build a community.
Leaning on what's in it for you is a bit gross and sleazy and reeks of a thirsty used-car salesman. 🤮
Things I'm Reading
AI at SXSW by Jason Steinhauer
It actually served as a chilling metaphor: some people stare with wonder at technology, while others simply walk by without asking critical or skeptical questions. Indeed, that was a theme I found over and over at SxSW. People in positions of wealth and power—government officials, corporate executives, academics with tenure—sit on conference stages and promise us that the technological advancements that enrich their pocket books—and which are paid for by our tax dollars, tuition dollars and consumer spending—are surely going to benefit us all.
Things I'm Thinking About
What makes me Laugh
"Canceling Plans is like Heroin" John Mulaney
the fun is in the comment section 😉