Communicating With Your Community

I just got back from the Digg Townhall event at the Big Tent set up for the DNC here in Denver. Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose updated the community live via a video feed about upcoming changes to and also fielded many questions submitted by the community.

This isn’t too exciting. There’s none of the humor of Diggnation nor the coolness of Digg itself. But it is interesting to see what they have in store.
But what is interesting is the whole idea of reaching out to the community to steer the future of Digg. What other Web 2.0 company does that? Some, I’m sure, but I can’t think of any right now. Twitter seems to like to keep its users in the dark. FaceBook doesn’t make this kind of effort.
And this isn’t a halfhearted attempt at communication, either. They could have made someone the “head of community interaction” and sent them around to do townhall meetings. But instead the CEO and the founder do it. This lends credibility behind statements like “we’re working on that.”
I’d like to see other Web companies try townhall events. They probably don’t because they are afraid people will use it as a way to bitch about bugs and missing features. They will. That’s the point. And you can use that sort of feedback to make yourself better.