How do people enroll in a network? Does the network make it easy or difficult? Is there a procedure? An invitation? Does the network want more participants, or is it too full?
If we don’t want new people to contribute to our work, that’s easy enough to achieve. All we need to do is keep our head down and mute our impact. A posture of disinterest in new people is predictably effective at keeping them away.
Of course, we may drive people away in our enthusiasm to enroll them as well, especially if we want them for a body to swell our progress. Nobody wants to be wanted as a number. Adults don’t want that. Teenagers don’t want that.
The networks I want to enroll in do three things: 1) they invite me. 2) They invent enrollment criteria and processes that are clean and un-awkward. 3) They state their driving purpose passionately and succinctly–like, elevator speech succinctly.
These don’t get equal weight, though, do they? The third one is easily the most compelling. The first two are mostly barrier-removal.
What are we doing here? What kind of people would want to enroll with us, and how do they do that? How do we find people?
I’m starting with those three questions to build my next network.