I created this as a separate portfolio item because ultimately the "community" of Quit Smoking Community took on a life of its own. It was honestly a bit of serendipidity that this community exploded as it did. I included a link to the freshly created Group on our website as an additional resource for people, but before I knew it new members were flooding in from everywhere. Support, motivation, and connection are all extremely important in the journey to quit smoking, and our group provided a way for people to access them digitally.
This group reached a peak of around 22,000 members before I sold the company. In managing it, I developed a strong ability to manage a growing community and a deep belief that online support communities are extremely effective. I boil the success of the group down to 2 things: strong culture and committed moderators.
I spent many hours writing and rewriting the group description (which you can find to the right). I wanted to establish the ideals, norms, and expectations of the group so that it would never be in question as it grew. I didn't know it at the the time, but this actually contributed greatly to the stability of the group. When it came time to offload some of the management to moderators, I made sure to thoroughly vet each one to ensure they had the proper motivations and the proper experience in quitting smoking. We ended up with an incredible group of moderators who kept the community positive, safe, and enjoyable to be a member of.