How do you build a community? I paused. I hadn’t thought about it before. For the past three months, much of my time and focus has been on growing the Product Hunt community. I never considered myself a “community builder” but in retrospect, perhaps I am. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I answeredTo be honest, I wasn’t particularly calculated when building community. I simply treated others the way I would want to be treated.To be honest, I wasn’t particularly calculated when building community. I simply treated others the way I would want to be treated.I love you guys and gals This is where I get sappy… I’m proud of the Product Hunt community and its positive, constructive dialog. We’re all product enthusiasts, empathetic of the challenges in building and growing a company. This shared understanding is evident in the discussion as contributors provide thoughtful feedback, critique, and compliments to product builders.How I think about community building Ultimately, you can’t build community without authenticity. The best community builders exemplify a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy. While I don’t claim to be the most emotionally intelligent or empathetic person, I consider myself higher than average and recognize this as paramount to Product Hunt’s success so far. Here are some of the things I’ve done to cultivate a strong community: 1. Listen People want to be heard. I try to reply to every email and tweet, helping where I can, although more recently I’ve been overwhelmed (sorry!). Buffer does an amazing job of this — just look at their Twitter account and the support team’s absurdly fast response time. 2. Cognizant of Peoples’ Interest and Talents Product Hunt is primarily made of entrepreneurs. The great thing about this is that we all have different talents and complimentary skills. When possible, I make light introductions to people 3. Give Props Many of the people on Product Hunt are doing awesome things. Occasionally I call out these contributions and achievements, whether it’s an insightful blog post on a relevant topic:They deserve the attention and doing so helps create a culture of reciprocation. I also extend opportunities for the community to become a part of the story through a series of blog posts called “Product Hunt Favorite Finds,” highlighting their top product discoveries. Those featured appreciate the attention and the creators of products mentioned — many of whom are also product hunters — love the support. 4. Meet IRL Although we’re more connected and communicate more personally online than ever before, it’s not a replacement for face-to-face interaction. We’ve hosted two Product Hunt happy hours in San Francisco, attracting over 60 attendees each time. It’s a great way to get to know people behind the screen and help others form real relationships with one another.