Restructuring Notion’s Location-Based Groups

Curated With 💙 by Rahul Janardhan 😉

💪‍ Case Study, In A Nutshell

  1. Backstory & Why This Case Study?
  2. Evaluating Existent Groups Performances
  3. Analysing & Defining Major Problem Points
  4. Ideation & Formulating A New Structure
  5. Welcoming Feedbacks & Iterating Again

🥳 Update: Notion’s Head Of Community, Ben Lang saw this Case Study & replied back! Yaaaay!💥

💙 Response From Notion Team ⚡

I’d mailed to Ben Lang, Head Of Community, Notion. I’m so grateful he liked the work & was kind enough to reply back.

Ben’s Email ID hidden for privacy purposes.

1. 🌻 Backstory & Why This Case Study?

💡 This Case Study is about Analysing how existent location-based groups are onboarded + kickstarting their initiatives, why few groups have massive growth & few are close to dead, how this loophole can be fixed in the long-term & how I’d love to contribute into Strategizing Notion’s Global Groups & work with all the awesome people✨ at Notion’s Community Team to Celebrate the beauty of Notion!

💡 Having been Building Communities for the past 4+ Years of My Life, this entire case study is based on my experiences around community-building, keeping the people at it’s core, thinking of what we can do collectively, to add the maximum value for them & share love. Because, what goes around, always comes around. Every Single Time!🖤

Notion’s Community Programs are divided into 3 Categories:

  • Virtual Forums Across Socials & Other Platforms
  • Location-Based Groups
  • Interest-Based Groups

I’d always wanted to give back to the Notion Community using my fair share of creativity. A few ways I’d figured I could contribute back. that resonated with my interests were:

  • Join / Kickstart Location-Based Groups
  • Contribute To Template Gallery
  • Become An Notion Ambassador

I’d applied for Ambassador Program first & secondly headed off to join my local location-based groups to meet tons of like-minded Notion Enthusiasts who love to create, share & celebrate Notion, which is when I discovered a huuuge loophole to be fixed & how rectifying this loophole would strengthen Notion’s Worldwide Community Presence even more & accelerate Notion’s Overall Growth.

I’d also noticed a few loopholes that could be fixed for Notion’s Online Forums & Interest Groups. Let’s keep that for another Case Study. I’d leave a few ideas on the footnotes of this case study.

2. 💪‍ Evaluating Existent Groups Performances

Notion’s Community Currently has 40 Location-Based Groups across 29 Countries.

  • United States: 3 Cities, in 3 US States
  • Canada: 1 City
  • Japan: 10 Cities
  • Poland: 1 City
  • Other Countries: 25 Country Chapters, No City Chapters.
  • Add-On: 15 Interest Groups & 13 Online Groups.
Notion’s Global Groups.

👉‍ Selected-Location Groups Performances, Explained with In-Depth Analysis

Notion India
Notion New York
Notion Los Angeles
Notion Fukuoka
Notion Tokyo

3. ✌️‍ Analysing & Defining Major Problem Points

  • Lack Of Information Structure — Notion Chapters yet now doesn’t have a proper home page in English (lots of pages are on regional languages), that even gives basic information about their chapter, how to get involved & CTA used are in various platforms of their choice (Slack, Twitter, Notion Site, Etc.) — This generates tons of confusion, especially for New Members who’re keen to contribute back to Notion, losing them along the way & reduces the uniformity of Notion’s Brand Positioning.
  • A common language to be used (Preferably English) on all home pages is very significant to be mentioned. I was unable to draw data & performance analysis from lots of chapters because their pages were in native languages. In case, a fellow chapter lead wants to look into other chapters for ideas & inspirations, language barrier shouldn’t exist in the first place, at least in the home page. They can have their preferred language within the Internal Community Operations.
  • Another Point to be Noted is that the Events Calendar, Translations, Directory & Home Pages that facilitating Assistance for Notion Chapters are not regularly updated which also increases the possibility of a potential community contributor to lose interest. Providing all the CTAs they require is our prime responsibility.
  • Every Notion Chapter should at least at the surface, reflect Why Notion Stands for, at the first place. Notion’s Brand Guidelines haven’t been followed by various chapters & there is no proper checkup on this. The disconnect between chapters & Notion HQ is significantly high.
  • Lack Of Operational Structure — As of now, there is no proper reporting mechanism for events & what’s happening around Notion Chapters across the globe. A platform that encompasses all these needs around event reporting, announcements & A open to all community base for anyone to get started is significant.
  • Major Miscommunication — Lack of communication between Notion HQ & Notion Chapter Leads is a high. Establishing an regular connection with leads is very significant ensure the overall growth of Notion Chapters.
  • City-Wise Chapters Over Country-Wise — City-Wise Chapters like Japan & United States, are able to focus on a very specific set of audiences & are able to build an more engaging, connected & diverse community over Country-Wise Chapters, which comprises of an insanely huge set of audiences to bring together. The patterns of the existing chapters clearly explains why City-Wise Chapters are able to bring in more active community members who love to contribute, because they feel belonged.
  • If you look around closely, City Chapters around US & Japan like New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Fukuoka are even more active & engaging because they have a specific set of target audience defined & within reach. In case they go for an offline meetup this year, they will have more community members turn-in than any of the other country chapters combined. Specificity always wins. More narrower, More merrier.

4. 💡Ideation & Formulating A New Structure

🤖 So, How Can We Solve All These Problems?

Here’s a Few Ideas I’d love to experiment!💡

  • Building An Overview 101 Structure of Notion Chapters 101 that encompasses everything one needs to know about Notion Chapters.
  • Establishing An Operational Platform for Event Reporting & Other Notion Chapter Details, for unifying the operational structure with Chapter Leads. This platform shall be the operational base for all the Chapter-Related Details Amongst Notion HQ & Chapters + Provide a Community Space (Like Template Gallery) for Members to Engage with their Notion Chapters & Explore Others. The entire point is to bring all the Notion Chapters into one uniform space.
  • Establishing an Onboarding Structure for Notion Chapter Leads, from a Quick Form to Video / Interview Submission. Followed by building a guide on how each chapter team should be structured & comprise of, in the form of team personas that is a diverse combination of Interested Students, Working Professionals & Women Representation, leaving no space for inequality.
  • Building A Communication Structure Starting With Notion HQ Community Team 👉‍ Notion HQ Chapters Team 👉‍ Zone-Wise Leads 👉‍ Country-Wise Leads 👉‍ Chapter Leads.
  • Rebranding “Notion Location-Based Groups” to “Notion Global Chapters” would provide a more worldwide representation of Notion’s Community Presence.
  • Hosting Bi-Weekly Virtual Catch-ups with Country-Wise Leads, who will also have catch-ups with their Country’s Chapter leads to ensure they’re functioning & provide any sort of assistance from Notion HQ. Constant monitoring to ensure chapters are functioning is very significant for the overall growth of Notion Communities.
  • Build A Notion Chapters Playbook that comprises of possible event & meetup ideas for Chapters to look up to.
  • Redefining the incentives for Leads & Notion Chapters Associated Individuals, from just Swags & Goodies to Early-Access for Notion Products, at Beta-Level Phases, thus giving Notion Early Feedbacks on our Products & Upcoming Features, bringing an even more closer connect to the right-set of end-users.
  • Building A Social Presence Guidebook is significant for the Chapters Overall Growth, especially during times of pandemic, remote & virtual are the key. Most of the existent chapters do not have an Instagram Page & existing profiles have zero to none social engagement. The again loses a potential community contributor who could’ve been an asset. Providing proper CTAs is very vital.

💫 New Ideas, I’d love to Tinker Around💡

  • Notion Campus — Building College Campus-Wise Chapters for Notion, more specifically focused on Students & how they can leverage Notion into their Community Engagement Operational Fabric under Notion For Education / Notion For Students.
  • Women Of Notion — Unfortunately, A very small segment of existent chapter leads are women. Diversity within tech is very significant. For A Company like Notion that celebrates Diversity, this should reflect in Notion Communities as well.
  • Notion Annual Conferences — Inspired with Block by Block Conference, I’d love to build an Playbook around our very own annual conferences that celebrate the Beauty of Notion!🖤
  • Notion Hackathons & StudyJams — Notion’s very own hackathons that gives an glimpse into the all-in-one workspace in real-time!

5. 💫 Welcoming Feedbacks & Iterating Again!

No Plan is Ever Perfect.

💪‍ It’s all about iterations & constant improvements. I’d approached this case study of mine completely based on my understanding of Notion Communities as a third-person. I would never know if you’d a better structure internally or maybe you’re working on one. This is just a reflection of my love for Notion & how I’d love to contribute back to Notion so that I can enable the next set of changemakers.

👉‍ Even when I’d not found the right CTAs to contribute back to Notion Chapters, rather than giving up, I wanted to reach out to you folks & let know about this particular pain point I’d encountered, more in the form of a case study so that you get an deeper idea about the existential problem & where you can get started with the solutions.

👉‍ I’m looking forward to contributing & making this case study’s conclusions a reality & would love to hop on a call with you to know more about your thoughts on this & point-out the mistakes I’d made along the way! 😄

Thanks & Cheers!🌻
Curated With 🖤
Rahul Janardhan




on a quest towards serenity.

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