Today we have a special guest post by Collis Ta’eed. Collis is the CEO and founder of Envato, a company with a collection of marketplaces powered by a community of millions of buyers and sellers. The very first time I tried to build a community online, it fell completely flat on its face. Hardly anyone showed up, no-one stuck around, and I learned the hard lesson that growing a community is most definitely not a case of “build it and they will come.” A couple of years later, I started a company called Envato, with a big focus on designers, developers and creatives. This time, the community flourished. Today we have discussion forums with thousands of regular posters, offline meetups in places as far removed as Hyderabad and Chicago, and high participation in online events and activities. So what changed? In those two years I had gained a much deeper appreciation for what it takes to grow a community. I’d learned that it is as simple and yet as delicate as growing a garden. More or less all of us have a basic grasp of how to plant a garden, but this knowledge alone does not a green thumb make. The keys to successfully growing a community, as with tending to a garden, are time, dedication
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