Creating a Digital(ish) Community

Sarah Morris O’Keefe
5 min readJul 7, 2022
Four people working together at a coffee table
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Being involved in your community, surrounded by like-minded (or similarly-purposed) people is important. It not only adds value to your mental and physical health but also allows you to give back to the area in which you live. In the age of COVID — full of zoom meetings, slack messages, and too many emails to come up with snarky replies to — it’s essential to spend time with people and build friendships. Maybe you live in an area where that community hasn’t been built yet…or perhaps it has but you have bigger ideas! Here are some tips I’ve learned while creating the Nashville Codecademy chapter meetup in my local tech community.

Partner with a larger organization

It can be difficult to start anything from scratch — be it a meetup in your area or a successful sourdough starter (put that on the list of things we didn’t know we’d learn in 2020). Sometimes it makes sense to partner with a larger organization, or another group that already exists. When I wanted to start a beginner-friendly tech meetup in the Nashville area, I searched for groups that were already started in other areas. It can be helpful to search for large organizations that already have meetups in other cities. I had used the Codecademy platform in the past to start teaching myself Javascript and knew they were starting a local meetup initiative, so I checked to see if there was a Nashville group. Fortunately, in my case, there wasn’t yet!

Think about applications and websites you already love to use and how others might use them. Brainstorm how you might benefit from learning more about that topic in-person or virtually with other people. Codecademy is always looking to add communities under their umbrella, as well as Duolingo, Girls in Tech, and more. Think about the kinds of people you want to connect with and learn from, and search for larger organizations that can help you do that!

Try to solve a problem in your local (or worldly) community

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to fix something in your local community already. Creating a group of people to go out and volunteer together, or even just to learn from each other, is a great mission to have. Think about ways you can help foster the environment you wish you could…

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Sarah Morris O’Keefe

Software Engineer @ iHeartRadio // Writing + Tech + Music + Mindfulness + Reading + Gaming // https://okeefesarah.com