Taking Your Community’s Pulse

A community leader’s guide to translating community insights to the product team

Taylor Harrington
Groove With Us
4 min readJun 20, 2022


At Groove, we’re building a community-driven product, which means we’re listening to our community members big time to build the future of our app. This also means that collaboration is key between community members, me (the Head of Community), our Chief Design Officer, and Head of Engineering to create a product that is really built with our community, for our community.

We’re a small team of five full-time employees (including three co-founders) and a handful of awesome freelancers.

Along the way, we’ve created some practices for how to collaborate efficiently and meaningfully across functions to have a greater impact.

What does it mean to take the pulse of a community? ❤️

One of my greatest responsibilities is taking the pulse of the community; think two fingers on a wrist style, except I’m doing that virtually (no wrists involved), for a bunch of people, checking in on how they’re feeling.

Taking the pulse looks like listening to suggestions from community members (we have a few places they can share these), learning how they’re interacting with the product, asking them direct questions about features, and onboarding new users to hear about their experience.

How do you capture insights regularly and in a dedicated space?

Recently, I told my team member that sometimes I feel like a human yearbook, trying to remember a bunch of people’s names, faces, and a one-liner about them. Our brains can only hold so much, and boy is my memory tested as a community leader.

I’ve learned that if I hear ideas or feedback from a community member, I need to capture it before it drifts away (and in a place I remember to check!).

In our team Slack, we have a channel called #pulse for this very purpose. As I hear community insights, I drop them in real-time into Slack. They’re messy sometimes and I don’t always explain what I think we should do about that insight, but I put it there to come back to. Other members of the team are also encouraged to share real-time feedback here throughout the week.

Once a week, I go through everything in #pulse (and in our suggestions box and my email) to put together a weekly round-up of insights. This roundup is a bit more digestible for the rest of the team to read, rather than my real-time notes.

How to connect your community to your team ✉️

That written round-up is always shared with the team on Thursday mornings, a few hours before I host a 30-minute call appropriately called Community Pulse. Our entire team is invited. This is my opportunity to be the messenger and communicate the community’s pulse to the product and design folks on the team.

My written round-ups are broken into a few different sections for easy reading and prioritizing…

  1. Feature notes/requests: suggestions/feedback directly related to the Groove app
  2. Community stories: community highlights like someone completing a course they’ve been working on, landing a dream client, taking their first week-long vacation as a solopreneur, or hiring someone they met on Groove
  3. Community growth updates: noteworthy updates on interesting things that came up in our beta community waitlist applications, or insights from conversations with potential partners.
  4. Data Roundup: update on key data metrics and compare them to last week’s numbers

On the call, I share anything that feels urgent to call out at the top of the call and then open the floor with, what insights feel most alive for you or do you have questions on? And, we work our way through the ones that grab our attention. By the end, we align on action steps for the path forward.

How to scale taking the pulse

“Community-driven” businesses are a hot topic right now. My hot take on it is that most of them aren’t actually community-driven. They’re not listening to their community members and building with them.

At Groove, I’m often thinking about how to scale how we take the pulse of our community at scale. I can only hear so much. As we grow our community and I know less and less Groovers, I’m going to need to create new systems for taking the pulse. At least, we know what works and what is important for us to hear. Scaling what’s working well now, as a community-driven company from the start, is a much easier process than trying to build a community-driven company way later on when a certain way of decision making and culture has been established.

If you liked this article, check these out:

  1. The Future of Work (as we see it)
  2. Why We Don’t Like Vanity Metrics at Groove
  3. Or, if you’re on a solopreneur looking for more support, accountability and focus join Groove’s online coworking community to get sh*t done and have a good time while you’re at it ➡️ groove.ooo



Taylor Harrington
Groove With Us

Head of Community @ Groove 💃🏼🕺🏼 Love bringing people together ✨ Curious about the future of work, community, & online learning 🤔 Board game player + reader