Or: Decentralized Social Technology for Scalable Community Building with Self-Replicating Small-Group Cohort-Based Meetups
An often-cited problem in community building is how to make it scalable without losing closeness and trust.
It’s the famous Eternal September problem where a once-cozy atmosphere where everybody knew each other suddenly devolves into a crowd of strangers.
How do you keep things civil and friendly and help people get to know each other without becoming yourself a bottleneck?
The answer, as to many things, is recursion.
Here is how a #groupdag works:
- You invite a group of people you know (3–6 including you) to meet weekly for e.g. 8–12 weeks to share updates, learnings, difficulties, goals, achievements (like a mastermind group), and to socialize around a common interest.
- People take turns hosting the session so everyone gets experience in making sure everyone gets heard and the conversation flows.
- Each person commits to inviting other people to join the group by talking to people they know who share the group’s interest or by reaching out to those who might.
- At the end of the cycle, the group “forks” into two, and the process repeats itself.
- People in different groups with a common parent group stay in touch by sharing a wider space in a chat or forum and possibly by having a bigger monthly meetup with sibling groups.
- When the monthly meetup gets too big it can also fork, and so forth up the tree into yearly conferences, etc.
- Groups who don’t grow enough to fork (people change interests, life situations, etc.) can “merge” with others on the next cycle (hence DAG).
- Get Together, Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huyhn, and Kai Elmer Sotto, Stripe Press
- Together, Vivek Murthy, Harper Wave
- Learning from Religion about Social Cells, David Sloan Wilson, Evolution Institute
- The Power of Ritual, Casper ter Kuile, Harper Collins
- Planting Churches That Reproduce: Starting a Network of Simple Churches, Joel Comiskey, CCS Publishing