From January 1 to December 31, 2019, 615 new Communities were created on PubPub. The previous fall, in October 2018, we had made a pivotal change: we launched a public “Create your Community” button, enabling anyone at all to create a publishing space on the platform. The positive trend line of growth—and the Community experimentation and feedback that followed—is now what drives our roadmap, Community Services, and endless learning. Across 2020 and 2021, 2,601 additional new Communities joined PubPub. This June, someone out there created our 4,000th Community.
Of course not all of these Communities are still active, nor were they all designed to be. Some of you have created spaces just for exploring the platform; others have migrated and continued existing publications, started brand new ones, launched short-lived “essay jams” or time-bound events spaces. Part of our job(s) has simply been keeping track of all of this activity, learning what we can from you and the work that does (and doesn’t) materialize on PubPub, and channeling that into better features and resources.
Our new series, Spotlight, is born out of all of this activity as well as a desire to try to break it down a bit. Taking a look at current Communities on PubPub has always been the best way for others and our team alike to brainstorm, get a sense of what’s possible, push the platform, realize new ideas, and improve upon legacy models. There are amazing things going on and being produced by people, organizations, and communities around the world (no inter-planetary communities yet, as far as we know). Moreover, we are blown away by the ways that PubPub users have made the platform their own to suit their knowledge sharing goals and motivations. This inspired us to learn more about them and to then share their stories with you.
Community Spotlights are our way of showcasing the innovative ways that groups of all kinds and structures and sizes have implemented PubPub and its features to create something special—and effective. In most cases a Spotlight will comprise of an interview with at least one Community admin to take a deep dive into their process and thinking, along with a resource or toolkit of some kind that enable others to replicate or more deeply understand an aspect of their Community. Just like PubPub—given the diversity of ways it’s used—these Spotlights will be like a variety show of different genres, modalities, styles, and intentions. And our hope is that you’ll come away having learned something from a fellow Community with inspiration to try and build something new!