Scaling a community or Not everything needs to scale

Two posts this week are related but in entirely different fields.


Not Everything needs to Scale” by Beekey Cheung. It is targeted at developers but I think the words are true for community managers. Here’s the rub:

The difference between making sure a feature scales and just making a feature work is a huge investment in time.

Replace “feature” for “program” and you’ve got universality. He discusses figuring out which idea is risky and not spending as much time making sure it scales. Sometimes it’s worth taking a risk to see if something works, but if it is that risky, don’t invest huge time into it. His reminder is a good one though, “…don’t for a second think you can get away with not rebuilding…” I’d also add don’t assume you can go forward without a program review with management. If the risk pays off, it’s a great story and you then need to figure out how it scales. If it doesn’t work, it’s a great story on what you learned and what you might try in the future.


From David Spinks of CMX fame: “How to Scale a Community.” Go read the whole thing but here’s the top line:

There’s only one way to truly scale communities, and that’s to distribute control to members of the community.

He says “You can create playbooks that will guide your members in how to contribute in the right way.” I would argue “can” should be “should” but so much of the rest of this is true.