GroupDAG—How to Make Friends and Help People Make Friends

Last updated: April 16, 2021

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).

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Written by Helder S Ribeiro (@agentofuser), who is working to delete the chasm between using and programming computers. Say hi on twitter