Seedback, not Feedback

The strength and depth of your community are directly proportional to the effort you invest in it.

Seedback, not Feedback

The strength and depth of your community are directly proportional to the effort you invest in it.

To truly reap the benefits of a vibrant community, you must be willing to engage deeply. You must ask as much from your community as you hope to receive.

Feedback is an essential piece of this puzzle.

But not just any feedback. Early feedback. Super early feedback. It's multiple settings done in public.

I call this "seedback" because each of these interactions leaves a small breadcrumb trail for future members to find.

For setting the tone, for engagement, and to create a culture of collaboration...all you have to do is ask.

1. The Power of Early Feedback

The Magic of Face-to-Face Interaction

There's something almost magical about receiving feedback early on, particularly when it's delivered face-to-face. This form of communication allows for a richness of context and understanding that written words can struggle to convey. Here's how to harness the power of early feedback:

  • Prioritize In-Person Meetings: Whenever possible, opt for face-to-face meetings to discuss feedback. This encourages open dialogue and a deeper understanding of the feedback's nuances.
  • Encourage Immediate Reactions: Early feedback sessions should be interactive. Encourage stakeholders to share their immediate thoughts and concerns, allowing for a more dynamic exchange of ideas.
  • Document Key Takeaways: While the essence of feedback is best captured live, it's crucial to document the main points and action items that emerge from these meetings to ensure clarity and follow-through.

2. Cultivating a Feedback-Rich Environment

Building Bridges Through Transparency

A feedback-rich environment is a testament to a community's strength, fostering an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. Here's how to cultivate such an environment:

  • Establish Clear Channels for Feedback: Ensure there are dedicated channels for community members to share their thoughts and feedback, whether it’s through meetings, forums, or surveys.
  • Promote a Culture of Honesty: Encourage members to share honest feedback by demonstrating openness and appreciation for their insights.
  • Act on Feedback: Show that feedback is not just heard but acted upon. This reinforces the value of sharing insights and encourages ongoing participation.

3. The Ripple Effects of Feedback

Understanding and Utilizing Feedback Dynamics

The feedback process, when done correctly, can create a positive ripple effect throughout the community, enhancing engagement and accelerating progress. Here's how to make the most of it:

  • Analyze Feedback for Broader Insights: Look beyond the immediate concerns to understand how feedback reflects broader trends or issues within the community.
  • Communicate Back the Actions Taken: Share with the community the steps taken in response to their feedback, closing the loop and demonstrating the impact of their contributions.
  • Foster Continuous Improvement: Use feedback as a tool for continuous refinement and improvement of community initiatives, keeping the community dynamic and evolving.

The Final Word

Remember: the essence of community building is about engaging, listening, and evolving together.

You have an incredible opportunity to deepen the connections within your community through feedback. Don't sideline this tool.

By actively seeking and responding to feedback, you're not just maintaining a community; you're empowering it to thrive. This is not about algorithms or predicting behaviors through data alone. It's about the richness of human interaction and the invaluable insights that come from simply talking to your members.