The Rise of the Community Leader - Meet Alina Din

  • The Uncommon Team

    October 13th, 2021

Image of Alina Din

Community leaders have a lot in common, like their enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and a passion for building meaningful relationships within and across communities. As community leaders, their goals are similar, but their paths to community leadership are surprisingly diverse and often surprisingly...surprising.

Our series, "The Rise of the Community Leader," celebrates these uncommon paths, the people who took them, and what they learned along the way. Want to connect with more community leaders like them? Join Uncommon.

Meet Alina Din, Community Manager at Retool.

How did you get your start in community?

In 2018, I took a Udacity course in frontend web development and found the community managers to be stellar advocates who were really motivating. I was looking to break into tech, and got inspired and started applying for community-type jobs as a result. I landed my first gig at Khan Academy, where I led and managed volunteer groups for a year before moving onto Quora to oversee writer and power user programs, and am now doing the same at Retool.

Tell us about the community you currently lead.

I lead engagement and growth programs for power users at Retool, a SaaS company that helps other companies quickly build custom internal tools.

What’s a key piece of advice you wish you would have had when starting your community career?

Don't be afraid to be yourself. Owning and celebrating your quirks and uniqueness creates space for others in your community to follow suit.

Investment in community is growing. Where do you see it in 5-10 years?

Community is where all the action happens. When users/customers feel like they have a space to come to to make their concerns heard and get heeded upon, it's like a virtuous cycle that builds on itself and only makes the community that much stronger.

In 5-10 years, I think community teams will become more sophisticated in communicating and proving with data how community affects the bottom line and impacts the overall business value. We in community know intuitively that we're impactful—we make our ambassadors feel great, and we seed and empower ordinary users to become super fans and super users. Over time, we'll be able to use the data we've accumulated to create compelling and powerful narratives out of, which will set us up for even greater success.

What's your favorite part about working in community?

I love having direct conversations with users. I always get energized after a video call where I get to talk to them about their experiences on the platform, what they love about it or don't, their wish lists, etc. Earning their trust is also incredibly gratifying and motivating.

What's different in community today from just a year or two ago?

After the pandemic, as more companies have had to embrace remote work and expanded their user bases online, I've seen so many companies looking for their first community hire or wanting to dedicate resources just to focus on community. People realize that cultivating and taking care of your advocates, and really listening to them, is the way to go.

How do you see your role as a community leader evolving?

I see a close link between community sentiment influencing product development and strategy. I also enjoy the cross functional and iterative component of it, and it's what I envision leaning more into.

And now some fun questions we ask our Roomies when they join the team 🙂

Favorite emoji?

🥴

Favorite good TV Show?

Ted Lasso

Favorite bad TV Show?

The People's Court

What's your inner animal?

Elaine from Seinfeld (she's not an animal of course, but I'm a huge fan)

If you had a food truck, what would you name it?

The Chai Stand

Next travel bucket list items to check off?

Tokyo

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Alina! We ❤️ your inner animal and second the notion that embracing your own uniqueness is key.

We're continually looking to highlight community leaders, voices, and stories—if there's someone you'd like to nominate to share theirs, let us know. See you in Uncommon!

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