Share This Post


Learn to create Online Communities with two Rockstar Rodinhooders!

Wow! Life works in amazing ways or what 🙂 I became a member of the Rodinhoods community long back, and kick started The Digital Marketing Chat Show with none other than Asha Chaudhry and Akshay Chhugani! 

So here’s what’s happening. Last month, we decided to hold an impromptu meetup for digital marketers in Delhi, and the more we talked, the more we realised a lack of some kind of a forum to help us all connect with each other. Thus Digital Defynd was born and in just a couple of weeks, we have an up and running, somewhat happening website as well!  

Coming back to what this post is about. Along with various other things, we thought why not do something to bring the very people who make digital marketing happen to the fore, for some well deserved recognition and also to make others learn from them 🙂 Thus we thought of the idea of The Digital Marketing Chat Show, and without further adieu, I present to you, the first episode of the same 🙂

Creating Awesome Online Communities


Asha Chaudhry (@ashaonthebeach) is the Co-founder & Editor of India’s most vibrant online community of entrepreneurs – – which is around 10,500 members strong. In her previous life she was an advertising professional.

Akshay Chhugani (@backpackerindia) is Founder & Chief Backpacker of Indian Backpacker, which was recently acquired by ixigo; Akshay now heads Traveler Communities there.


Prateek Shah (@PrateekShah) , Digital Marketing Trainer, comes with several years of training and consulting experience.

Some key takeaways

1. Community Building is hard work! Harder than people can imagine.

2. You need to stay invested in an idea for long, like really long.

3. Constant nurturing and addressing people’s concerns are the only ways to go about building an awesome community. 

4. If you are not passionate, you can’t do it. 

5. Corporates in India aren’t that serious about building communities. Lots of global companies doing the same.  

That’s it I guess 🙂 Hope you enjoy watching the chat show. You can join us here or connect with me here or here or here 😀


Share This Post


  1. thank you prateek for initiating your chat show with akshay and me!! we had an awesome pausome time. 

    also for the longest time ever i’ve been meaning to write a post on tips to build and engage an online community – god knows how many rodinhooders have requested me to do so as they have their own communities and are struggling to keep them engaged.

    so, iss bahane i actually sat and made notes on some of my learnings from the last 4 years and hope to put up a potha post! 

    thank you!

    ps: we couldn’t answer some of the questions – i will post some of the answers on the event page and here as well as some questions were asked by rodinhooders 🙂

  2. i had a question for akshay – will request him to answer it here

    (ps: very few people actually know that akshay and i were contemplating building a travel community together when indiadecoded (my passion venture) was launched. but then i decided to give trh my full energies and put aside both the idea of building a travel community as well as my passion venture 🙂 )

    so akshay, you built a travel community as the solo founder of the indian backpacker. and now you are building a travel community as head of travel communities at ixigo.

    how has the experience been different?! (apart from the funds now available to you!!!)

  3. Loved it Prateek! And amazing insights from Asha and Akshay. I made a few notes from the talk; will be sharing them in a post soon 🙂

  4. Awesome Prateek!!

    Keep rocking man.

  5. Great to know that Asha! Nothing better than something that gets you thinking!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Look forward to that post! 🙂 And the chat show show was greatt fun! Hope it serves the purpose of telling more people about awesome people in the industry and helps many of them learn in the process 🙂

  6. Thanks a lot Arjun! 🙂 And look forward to your post 🙂

  7. Thanks Mr Suri! Let us all keep rocking 😀 🙂

  8. since i quoted my dad i emailed the link to him to watch. he said: “all three of you came across very well” 🙂

  9. Hey Asha,
    I feel both the experiences are the same and yet very different.
    They are same as the goal at both as well as is exactly the same, that is an honest will to help a traveller 🙂
    It’s different mainly because of the kind of scope involved in them.
    At IndianBackpacker it was mostly about backpackers in India whereas at it’s about everyone. Starting with backpackers to train travellers to something specially for Business travellers 🙂

  10. rodinhooder puneet had an interesting q on the fb event page. 

    i’m posting it here and answering it as well!

    “What is your daily routine for community growth ? Are there some daily rituals that you follow (For example – 3x Task A, 2 times Task B, etc, or do you just go with the flow). What are some of your Twitter Engagement Strategies?”

    Answer: i don’t do anything specifically to grow the community in numbers – that’s not my aim! i have some daily rituals to make our content viral and to increase engagement, and to ensure people’s posts get traction.

    – i share around 10-12 articles over social every single day – sunday ho ya monday ya gandhi jayanti :)))

    – i try to comment on almost every new post (if i haven’t simply means i’ve exchanged a lot of notes in private with that rodinhooder and want other rodinhooders to respond without bias!)

    – if a rodinhooder isn’t getting any response – i ping members who could help/her. (that’s why we started ASK RODINHOODERS – so i wouldn’t have to do that so often!!)

    – i dig out old posts and revive them by commenting on them or writing to that rodinhooder, especially if she/he hasn’t been active in a while – this also encourages them to update us on their journey and share if they’re doing something new.

    – over social media (both fb & twitter) i scan what’s happening in the lives of rodinhooders and constantly encourage them to share/ask stuff

    – every single day i reach out to at least 2-3 rodinhooders with ideas on what they could possibly write!

    – i give a lot of twitter shouts – b’days, you’ve been featured on the homepage, long time no word – hey wassup – lots of stuff! it’s the EASIEST way to stay connected!!! in fact even though i don’t use twitter so much personally, i keep saying it’s the most efficient and effortless way to
    a) make content viral
    b) interact with your members 
    c) convey something
    d) answer queries (youngsters are just to lazy to write emails!)
    e) encourage people to share their awesome content (for which they automatically join and become active members!)
    f) encourage people to showcase their ventures!

    if you are building a community or any content biz – twitter is one of the most efficient tools to use. i tell every sme founder to use it as much as they can! i would love to spend an hour at least every day on twitter – but i just don’t have the bandwidth to 🙁 i hope i have a twitter knight one day who could stay in touch with members/non members over twitter so that they could keep adding value to trh.

    since things in startup land are so unpredictable, i just go with the flow. but try to stick to some of these basic things every single day. even if i’m travelling!!


  11. Asha and Team – I have a question

    What is the relationship between Quantity of Content and Quality?

    At – we attract 200,000 users and day and publish 25-30 stories. Its now a given that we should be doing 50-60 a day.

    Business Insider does 200+ stories and I read that (80% business is now online) generates 400 new stories a day.

    For a site like however, isn’t it quality that could really make the ‘moat’ as one of this week’s article asks?

  12. Alok I feel in the current scenario both quantity and quality are equally important as compared to a few years back.

    Earlier creating good quality content on startups was a good idea however with so many people online with different industry startups it has become important to create more focused content for each and every sub community.

    For ex – in 2012 quality content for startup was about how to startup,importance of mentors, how to raise funds and so on and thus the content could be limited to such topics with high quality.

    However today more and more content quality content needs to be created for topics like – how to raise funds for a foodtech startup, creating a ppt for a business analytical B2B startup.

    So basically quality content creation for all sub communities/categories/industries etc needs to be created thereby increasing the overall quantity.

  13. alok – for a COMMUNITY like trh (where content is created by members) – yes, quality matters most. as a free community, we aren’t competing against anyone. we don’t have any compulsions to create volumes of content. so i would rather have less content, but super relevant and brilliant!

    for folks like biz insider & forbes who have large editorial teams – quality content in large numbers becomes imperative. 

    at koimoi – i think you need to segment out the audience and do a mix of both. so ideally there should be some writers who churn out fast stuff in quantities (for popular/mass reading). and some who do a few quality pieces (well researched) for the more evolved bollywood reader.

  14. Hi Alok,

    I am a newbie when it comes to making a website grow, and it’s overwhelming to answer you on this subject 😀 but I will still offer my two cents. I think while quantity definitely attracts a lot of people helping them find something within their interest area, for a niche portal like Rodinhoods, the focus should be on quality, because when a user comes to the site, and they like an article, they don’t want to stop there, they want to look further, and find more. Now if the next article they find isn’t good enough, then it makes for a bad overall experience. I am glad to see Asha and you trying to maintain the level of articles and discussion on this portal, and hope we do the same with Digital Defynd 🙂 (and now to add the not so subtle backlink, sorry Asha 😀

  15. prateek,

    that’s the whole point – this entire hangout has been posted by you, introducing your new initiative, so what’s the need of backlinking it in your comment?!! 

    #spam #seo #plug 🙂

  16. aamaj masti karu chu 😀 🙂

  17. hey arjun,

    what happened to your post…?! do share stuff. it helps!!

Comments are now closed for this post.

Lost Password