Ask Not What Your Community Can Do For You

community in metal type

community in metal type What is Yerdle? Here's my personal definition: A community of people who give and take.

We give away items we no longer want or need and in exchange, receive somebody else’s treasures. But to me, Yerdle is so much more: it’s a community.

As a social media marketing professional, I have been involved with online communities for years and my experience is that they are “their own beasts” to be wrestled with. When I worked at SAP, I was responsible for growing the SAP Community Network, but also to make it easy for members to connect, share and help each other.

Here are 3 things I've learned that might be helpful if you're new to Yerdle: 

1. Online communities are only as good as their members. People come to Yerdle for the items but many stay because of the relationships they build and the fun they have. Building relationships on an app? Yes, Yerdlers often strike up a conversation about an item, asking questions, trading stories and later on thanking the giver. Sometimes we even meet in person: I picked up a Schwinn bike from a guy in Santa Cruz who turned out to work at UCSC where I am an Adjunct Instructor. I ended up sharing my social media class slides with him. And then there is Esther Young, who lives in the same town with me and came to pick up an item in person. She’s great.

2. You get out what you put in. While some people who post on Yerdle never respond to questions about their stuff (they might simply be too busy), there are others who go out of their way to put together custom bundles, ship quickly and even add extra items. Many of us try to create goodwill and treat others as we’d like to be treated. It makes me happy to connect with strangers, sometimes (hopefully) brightening their day. Mine has been brightened many times, for sure.

3. Online communities are like the real world, or even like high-school. You have the people who want attention at any price (obnoxious is ok with them), the ones who want to be liked at any price, the people who care about outcomes only, and others who are happy-go-luckies and go with the flow. If somebody acts inappropriately, the community responds and a system emerges. Luckily, Yerdle just introduced a Good or Bad rating system for each Yerdler. Great idea.

Which type of Yerdler are you? Happy Yerdling!