Creating an online community plays a huge role in the success of an application. As a side note, I have been starting to believe we might be near an app meltdown. There are only so many tasks to be done, and way too many apps that perform those tasks. With so many apps, the ones that have a thriving and engaging community are the ones with the best chances of being around long-term.
Recently, I have had a couple of extremely pleasant experiences with two different applications. Both make me believe they are among the few that know what they are doing in building their communities. I will tell you about my experience with Buffer, and with Desk Publishing Machine.
I have been using Buffer for a long time now. This has been a very valuable tool in controlling social sharing for my accounts, and my real estate team’s accounts. The product has always worked flawlessly for me, and the once or twice that I reached out for a question…I received incredible help moments later.
Lately I have been participating in their Twitter chats, called #BufferChat. Every week they are delightful, and I am able to gather great resources on the various topics discussed. That in itself is an amazing way to build and stay engaged with their community. The positivity is incredible, and it is always a joy to participate.
Recently, Buffer’s Community Champion direct messaged me on Twitter. She thanked me for participating in Buffer Chats, and asked me for my address to send me stickers. Days later, I received a handwritten card with stickers in the mail. It is so awesome she took the time to send a handwritten note and some Buffer stickers my way. A very positive experience for me, that just increases my fondness for the company and their product. It’s also very cool to receive some old school mail from a modern tech company. 🙂
Desk Publishing Machine (DeskPM)
Since Buffer might be more “known,” I will give you a quick insight into DeskPM. This is a great writing application for Mac computers (also award-winning). It is a “distraction-free” writing application, that is much more functional. The app connects with many blogging platforms (WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type, Squarespace and more…). Also included is markdown support. So with the app you just write, add images if necessary, and hit publish. Or save as a draft to pick up later. Many seem to be using it for note-taking as well!
I have followed the developer John for quite awhile, as he is a blogging genius and made my favorite iOS app (since retired). When I saw that this app was coming, I was excited to see it’s release.
One day, I saw that the @DeskPM twitter account tweeted that they have stickers available. So I jumped on it! (My step-daughter is a sticker fiend, so that fondness for stickers is rubbing off on me).
Like I said before, a few days later I received the stickers in the mail. Yet this time it was a fun experience! In the envelope was a sheet of paper “You’re The Bomb!” That paper gave instructions to blow up the included balloon, tie it off and to pop it. The stickers and confetti exploded all over the room. And no, it wasn’t an over-the-top mess to clean up.
DeskPM is doing some fantastic work in engaging their community members. The personal touch really goes a long way. Plus, there is talk.desk.pm. Where they are creating an online community for writers/bloggers to write and discuss. They are offering daily writing prompts, and a place for folks to share and discuss ideas. I am a huge fan of such a positive environment being built around a simple, functional application.
By the way, I wrote this blog post in DeskPM completely. See the screenshot below. 🙂
So clean, so simple, and stoked to use these particular tools.
It is great to see not only an indie developer pull out the stops for their community, but a larger and successful company as well. I am sincerely surprised that this kind of community engagement is still “rare.” But hey, those that truly engage with their communities are able to stand out that much more. Did I mention I received both items in the mail on the same day? Awesome!
One last photo below. You’ll see the DeskPM and Buffer stickers have found their place on my laptop with one of my Pressgram (RIP) stickers. Feels kind of nice to add a little social/blogging flare to my machine! (Anyone have any BBM or BlackBerry Spark stickers they can spare? 🙂 )