Is it time to rename our Community?

LiselotteP Vanilla Ice Cream
edited May 13 in Talk Community #1

Hi Vanilla friends,

I've been thinking about this for some while, but am looking for your experiences with this.

Our Community hosts a whole load of 'stuff'. Originally it was a peer-to-peer support channel, as such, we named our community… Company name Community. It made sense at the time.

But as our community has grown, its now so much more than that… It's still peer-to-peer support but also hosts product changelogs, release notes, product updates, networking forum for partners, and soon to come ideation.

As such, the name Company name Community just doesn't make sense anymore.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? If yes, what did you decide to name your Community? How did you get to that name? What was your thought process?

I remember a great Spark (or was it CMX?) webinar by @SamanthaIsin which started my journey of reflection. Watch the webinar for yourself, its a good one, but to cut to the chase, their community name is now 'the Endpoint', which just makes total sense in their business context.

In my B2B community in the infosec world, the word 'Community' just doesn't mean much to product users, in my opinion…

Photo by Austin Kirk on Unsplash


  • Rav Singh
    Rav Singh Vanilla Sundae

    This is an interesting idea and I can understand where you're coming from. Your community sounds a lot like ours in that it serves many purposes eg. Major announcements, product release info, how-to videos, events etc etc etc

    For us at least though, at the heart of it it's still a community for product support between peers and is so entrenched both internally and (hopefully) externally that community has just become part of the vocabulary when we refer to our site.

    The other aspect is, if your community is well established, will there be a big lift involved in readjusting the idea of your site for both users and staff? Will there be changes to branding required as well?

  • LiselotteP
    LiselotteP Vanilla Ice Cream

    Hi @Rav Singh, thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    We've been live for 2 years now, and only really actively growing for the last year. We have about 30-100k page views per month.

    Our user engagement is low: users come to Community, find what they are looking for, and leave again (I'm still learning to accept this hah!)

    So I figured… best do it sooner rather than later?

  • BrendanP
    BrendanP HLV Staff
    edited May 14 #4

    Community in of itself is a charged term. It means a lot to different groups of people and a Community can take many shapes and forms.

    Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is that 'Community' is fundamentally about 'enablement'. Why do we participate in any kind of community at all? Ultimately it's mutually beneficial.

    No one dreams of being the world's best software user but they do have problems that they want to solve and a Community - as a digital space that provides content to enable me - supports that in one of the most scalable ways possible.

    Likewise, I don't hear too much about this concept anymore but I think our friend Adrian Speyer was on to something when he gave this presentation on communities functioning as Centers of Excellence:

    For the WithSecure Community - this is a place where customers and partners can come together to:

    • Ask support questions
    • Submit ideas
    • Read knowledge articles and FAQs
    • See product announcements
    • Change log of new changes in the platform
    • Best practice sharing
    • You also deliver a unified search experience for all your customer-facing information.

    At that point - it does become about how you can enable the greatest number of people in the most scalable way - and nothing provides more 1:many opportunities for enablement than Community in my opinion.

    Maybe you don't want to call it 'Community' but whether you do, or you call it a center of excellence or you call it an engagement platform - I think ultimately we end up at the same place that communities bring a group of people together so that they can be enabled.

    P.S No one has to consider what I've said as an official statement from Higher Logic Vanilla - just my 2 cents as someone who's worked at this company for 7.5 years.

  • LiselotteP
    LiselotteP Vanilla Ice Cream

    Thanks for your thoughts @BrendanP, and for the link to the presentation - I'm going to keep pondering!