Portland Startups Slack has more than 6500 users — but they’re mostly lurkers or inactive

Bigger isn’t always better. Especially when it comes to community. And creating strong connections between individuals. So when I noticed that the Portland Startups Slack — a public Slack instances designed to facilitate connections among folks in the Portland, Oregon, startup community — currently had more than 6500 users on the platform, I had mixed emotions. Especially with the recent uptick in new folks joining the Slack.

This community Slack instance was started in 2015 and has continued to grow in fits and starts over the past eight years. But lately, we’ve seen an number of new users joining the platform. Which caused me to look at the total number of users. Which inspired me to write this post. Domino effect.

Is the Portland Startup Slack a great way to connect with people in the startup community, share more about what you’re building, and keep tabs on the news and events around town? Absolutely. Is it a way to be immediately connected to 6500 people who are interested in the Portland startup community? Probably not.

But with a new group of folks comes new energy. And it’s nice to see the activity level tick up a bit. (There’s a great deal of activity that occurs via direct message on the platform.) The events channel has definitely seen some new life, as of late. And the engineers channel is usually a solid spot to ask questions and connect with peers.

So if you’re looking to connect with folks from Portland startups, the Portland Startup Slack is one way to do that which I encourage you to explore. There are other ways, as well.

And before you dive in, please know that we’re pretty aggressive with the ban hammer on this instance. So we expect folks to participate in productive and positive ways. Under the guidance of common sense, online politeness, and this Code of Conduct.

To join — or re-engage — please visit Portland Startups Slack. And if you do, please make sure to introduce yourself.

  1. Rick – during ESHIP, certain people thought we needed more engagement yet it seemed reasonably robust. I asked experts and most cited the “90-9-1” rule – a healthy online community had 90% lurkers, 9% active, 1% very active – definitely a Pareto distribution (rarely/never post, post more than once, post regularly) . In my piece of the community (Goal 5) we had about 100 with probably 20 active and 5 very active and the critics said that wasn’t good enough – besides the wrong people were dominating – people like me and not people like them, lol. The other thing about healthy networks is that the very actives look different than the lurkers. In our case, it skewed older, grad degrees, and more male but not a ton.
    Anyway, sorry for nerding out but if you have close to 65 very actives and close to 650 who do post now & then… you are actually doing well. Even half those percentages is decent. Better still… some lurkers eventually become active and so on. So take heart!

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