I love reading. I love how books introduce you to new ideas and new ways of thinking. I also love talking about those ideas with other people. With that in mind, a book club sounds like just the thing for me to join. The problem, however is that online book clubs almost always meet at an inconvenient (or impossible) time for me to attend. They either meet around midnight in my time zone, or if they’re during my day, I just don’t have the time to join Yet Another Video CallTM on top of the other meetings I attend as part of my regular work and communities that I am already a part of.
I figure the best way to remedy this is to join a book club that does not include live discussions, but rather has an asynchronous, forum-based approach to interaction. I feel like the best way to do this is to start one myself, so without further ado…
Introducing the Community Reading Guild!
I created a static landing page for the Community Reading Guild that supersedes this post. Any new info about the group will be posted there.
The Community Reading Guild aims to remedy the common issues with online book clubs by creating one for community professionals that has three core features:
- It is fully asynchronous – no live chat, video or voice calls, and no need to be online at any particular time.
- It is designed for long-form discussion – the platform is designed to facilitate discussions that give you time to think about your responses before you post, without any pressure to respond to anything immediately.
- It is 100% private – only guild members can access this site, ensuring that any discussions you engage in are only available in this space. This allows you to be more honest and open when sharing your thoughts.
In short, the Community Reading Guild is a private, asynchronous book club for community professionals. We will read books about any topic of interest to people building communities and vote on the books collectively so that we’re all on board with what we’re doing together.
The Community Reading Guild is a private, asynchronous book club for community professionals.Tweet
I’d love for you to join me on this learning journey, so if this interests you, please fill out this form with your details to request to be a part of the first cohort for the guild. I will review all submissions and invite people to join if they fit the relatively simple criteria (you must be working as a community builder in some way, and you must fully intend to actively engage in the group discussions). If there’s a lot more interest than I’m expecting upfront, I might limit the membership numbers for the first cohort and then allow more people in when we move onto a second book later in the year.
Here’s a handy button to the sign-up form:
If you like this idea as much as I do, please join me!