1. Tuesday, February 19, 2019

    the secret to growing communities that grow 

    i have been so lucky to have been able to work at some of the coolest online ventures around. from LAist to the LA Times to the Oscars. but it all started here on this very blog, the busblog.

    one thing i learned at LAist was – it helps if you love the content as much as you love the audience.

    when you love something you do it with rose colored glasses. so you might miss some of the issues. but thats ok because when you notice that certain things are bad, you will rush to fix it. not out of any weird power trip but because you want everyone else to enjoy the thing you’re making with them.

    so the first thing is love. love it, love them. otherwise it’s just work and you can tell if something is being run by someone who loves it compared to someone who is just doing it for the money and health benefits.

    the next thing is be open to change, be open to creativity, be open to possibilities, be open to things that are scary, be open like youve never been open before.

    if America wasn’t open to expansion we would never have had the Louisiana Purchase and we would have never made it to the Golden State. And now California is as mighty as most foreign countries. it pays to be open. it pays to figure out ways to grow. will there be growing pains? of course. don’t freak out. as the hitchhikers guide wisely advises: dont panic.

    at every group blog ive seen or worked with there were more than a few superstar writers who some thought were irreplaceable. we are all irreplaceable. the yankees have won championships without Babe Ruth. the Lakers have won without Magic. life goes on without tony pierce and all the rest. and thats ok. what is freaky is how quickly life can go on without this star or that one. it’s been over 35 years since SNL lost John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray and that show still trends every Sunday.

    the show will go on. so dont fear change. if you wanna be punk rock, embrace it. and if you wanna be new wave: be the change.

    which brings us the my favorite facebook group Howard Stern for Fans who Actually Like Howard Stern.

    no one asked for this group. i started it last year, wellllllll into the last stages of his career. he only has a show 3x a week, 2x a month. there were already at least 100 howard stern groups, and yet suddenly ours is on pace to being the most popular one on Facebook. how?

    because i have set rules. i enforce the rules. it’s just me plus some superfans who let me know via flagging or instant message when people are being rude. and i allow the group to metaporphisize into whatever it’s gonna be. and i will call bullshit on certain trends. and i am not afraid to boot people or protect others.

    but i really think the secret sauce is i love howard’s show and history, and i know it, and ive been around the block in regards to social, so i can see trouble before it happens.

    what i love about this chart on the tippy top is, anyone can have good numbers in your first 6-7 months cuz youre new and cute. but if you suck people will bail out and stop telling their friends. whats interesting about this group is it started hot, and has continued to be hot for the last 6-7 months too. even though howard has had hella vacation, even though more stern groups have sprouted. even though ive been obsessed with a secret project. the growth is growing at a pace of 61%.

    every week we are getting between 250-350 new members. and theyre staying. lots of posts.

    i had one guy say, how many admins do you have? i said me. he said, im in this group but i admin another one about a cable TV show and we have 4 admins. how do you do it? i say, i let them be. he said, no way would that work with us? i asked why? he said the founder of the group wants everything approved. that takes time. and the quality is better.

    i said how do you know if the quality is better if its always been one way. maybe when people are free they write better or they say things that omg that One guy doesnt like or the other 3 admins. thats a lot of ways to get vetoed. here i only have a few ways to get vetoed: poop, disparaging howard robin or beth, politics and a few others. most people are cool with that and it allows space for people to be free.

    freedom is everything for growth. give a tree a lot of space, a lot of sunshine, and tons of water and that baby will grooooooooooooow.

    now bababooey to you all.