Community Counts: Why Blockchain Projects Need to Invest More in Building Developer Communities

Many blockchain projects focus intensely on building cutting-edge technology, protocols, and infrastructure. However, they often underemphasize the critical human element of nourishing an engaged community around their developer ecosystem.

Robust communities expand platforms by solving issues collaboratively, creating integrations, evangelizing adoption, and building passion. But community requires investment that Web3 projects seeking quick traction often overlook. Developers are treated more like passive users rather than collaborative partners in creating value. This overlooks community’s substantial upside.

Developer relations teams aiming to grow sustainable blockchain ecosystems need to make fostering community a top priority. Here are some impactful ways they can invest in community building:

Create Interactive Discussion Forums

Forums facilitate open discussions where developers help each other solve problems faster. Moderators identifying frequent issues also improve docs and APIs. Yet many projects rely on fragmented Discord and Telegram channels that lack permanency and discovery. Investing in well-organized community forums pays dividends.

Organize Local Meetups and Events

nothing builds community like in-person events, even simple gatherings like meetups and hackathons. They cultivate personal connections and local groups that organize organically. Sponsoring food, venues and activities removes hurdles to organizing for community members who will keep gathering long after.

Support User Groups

Grassroots user groups create strong communities independent of the core project team. Developer relations should actively empower users starting local meetups, conferences, and other initiatives. Providing funding, mentorship, and promotion spotlights those generating community.

Developer Advocate Programs

Developer advocates act as liaisons between projects and community members. Having knowledgeable, passionate advocates engaging developers and assisting with onboarding, education, and support builds loyalty. But many projects lack dedicated advocate resources.

Send Team Members to Community Events

Too often, project team members only attend major conferences to present or exhibit. Paying for core developers to attend community-led events without pitching demonstrates genuine care for users. Simply participating builds rapport and trust.

Highlight Community Contributors

Contributors who help make the project better deserve recognition. Consistently highlighting community members who fix bugs, write docs, build demos, and onboard new developers inspires future contributions. Everyone wants to feel valued.

Promote Real-World Use Cases

Developers want to work on projects enabling impactful real-world usage, not just speculative activity. Teams should spotlight community members building production applications and integrations that highlight tangible utility beyond hype.

Make Discourse Transparent

Closed communication channels like private email threads and chats echo corporate culture, not community. Teams should default to transparency using public forums, open standups, and repositories documenting decisions. Openness fosters trust.

Sponsor Hackathons and Bounties

Hackathons, bounty programs and other incentivized initiatives motivate community contributions. But participation requires time and effort, so providing ample funding for attendance, prizes, and payouts enables more users to get involved.

Cultivate Partners, Don’t Control

Projects seeking excessive control over community activity stifles organic collaboration. Developer relations should focus on cultivating partner relationships with aligned projects, companies, and brands that wish to engage the community in a mutually beneficial manner.

Nurturing developer community requires allocating real budget, resources, and staff time beyond merely pushing product updates. But the long-term benefits for sustainability, innovation, and growth are invaluable. Teams that only focus on technology do so at their own peril. For in blockchain, the community is king.