Followers vs Audience vs Community in 2021

How audience is worse than a community? How thousands of followers are not good enough anymore? + a weekly motivation by Eddie Jaoude

In the early 2000s, everyone needed a website, in 2010 everyone needed a Facebook page, in 2021 everyone needs a community.

Creators and influencers had to start their Discord communities on top of their huge fan base on Instagram and YouTube. Consumer-focused businesses now run Discord on Slack communities additionally to the support forums.

They’ve mostly figured out why they need a community. Now goes the hard part: how to make it happen?

When you have 6,000 followers on Facebook who award you with 2 likes on a post, is it better than having a community with 60 people, but who care about what you’re posting? 6,000 vs 60…

The livestream of this episode was very emotional, then we hanged out in a live chat in Discord with our community for another 40 minutes. But we’re shipping an edited 30-minutes cut. We think it makes sense. We think it is a good balance of being useful and fun.

This episode is also available in your favourite podcasts app if you’re a premium subscriber.


Community builders and digital content creators. Available for contract work.

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  • Karina: business leader​, money 🤑

  • Anna: founder, writer, engineer 👩🏻‍🔬

  • Olle: product, devrel, tech 🎥

Upcoming episodes:

This show runs on our Discord server and is supported by a friendly pancultural community. Most speakers are our community members.

  • Community analytics, benchmarks and other numbers - Rosemary O'Neill - Crowdstack

  • Running a Discord server for anime artists - Aigerim Aimova - Usagi Shop

  • The community for community builders - Alex Angel - Commsor

  • Using science to research online communities - Martina Pocchiari - PhD Candidate in Empirical Quantitative Marketing

  • Calculating ROI for a community - Nick Dijkstra - Port

  • Online classes for making friends - Nina Iordanova and Niloo Ravaei- Good People

Premium subscribers have access to the calendar with all upcoming live shows and community events.

Run The World is just $150 instead of $429

This is an offer from partners, but the copy is mine.

I think that Run The World is a decent solution for virtual conferences and meetups, and I like the team behind it. I would build a virtual conference or a series of interactive meetups on it if I could not use Discord.


Run The World on a sale

Weekly motivation:

I mentioned influencers starting personal communities on the top, and we had a fun episode about personal communities with a popular YouTuber and a GitHub star Eddie Jaoude. But here I want to reflect on an audience vs community reasoning for creators like Eddie:

Nice reason for creators to have a community vs an audience.

  • The community supports the creator.

  • The audience demands more and more (and then lapses)

This went on top of two business calls last week with a similar agenda and is a huge topic to explore overall. My humble take is that dopamine is not good enough. Followers don’t matter anymore unless you’re monetizing them directly or want to advertise some shampoo for few pennies.

It is a meaningful connection to your fans, the relations, the interactivity that matters - nice real things that don’t scale.

For example, Eddie has community calls, that just like our community hangouts, he started to better connect to his community. And now he evolved those to something like cross-community pan-cultural multi-country developer meetups. Be like Eddie =)

We also want to be like Eddie and are working on a similar initiative cantered about community building. Subscribe to stay in the loop!

/This text has been written by Olle and reviewed by Lera and Grammarly