The Virtual Community Cocktail Club

We're building a distributed, remote think-tank for people interested in virtual communities.

What's our mission?

VC³ is a group of people that are fascinated by the problem area of building meaningful community through the use of technology.

How can we build social networks that work for the user instead of against them?
How can we help a person make better friends?
How can we help people have meaningful relationships, even over large distances?

We believe that no company or project is solving these problems adequately, and we want to find out why.

What do we do?

We're an online community that holds weekly discussions between our members on these questions. Our members are located across the globe, and we brainstorm asynchronously.

We're a small, closed community, and records of our conversations are private. Our goal is to publish writeups of our eventual conclusions, here on this site. The answers to these problems are important to everyone.

Who can join?

We're looking for people who care about this as much as we do. We're always looking for new faces to join us. Our group is completely free. Nobody pays anything.

If you're interested in joining, please submit an application. Our goal isn't to create some sort of "exclusive" group, but we do want to make sure that all of our members care as deeply about this as we do.

  frequently asked questions  

Wait, it's free?

Yeah, it's really free. We're not a company, and we're not trying to make money with VC³... We wanted to form this group to try and provide value to everyone who joins. If you're not surrounded by people who are interested in talking about the same things as you, it's harder to get feedback on your ideas. We created VC³ because we wanted to find people who were as excited about solving these sorts of problems as we are.

Who created this?

VC³ is a community, and it doesn't belong to one person, but the original idea was created by Sam Weaver. The community was founded in December 2019.

Why is VC³ its own site? Why not use Reddit / Discord / Hacker News / ... ?

We have a few differences from existing online communities, both in implementation and in vision.

  1. We're not public, and never intend to be. We want to form a small community of engaged contributors, and we want people to feel comfortable speaking without fear that someone is going to abuse or misquote them. We thought that the best way to accomplish that would be to make a private community that anyone can apply to.
  2. We have a stricter definition of on-topic than most existing online discussion communities. We don't prohibit contributors getting to know each other (in fact, we encourage it!), but we do try to focus the bulk of the group's effort towards digesting the major questions we seek to answer.
  3. We have a defined goal to accomplish. We're seeking to discover answers to questions (like the ones above) and then share those answers with the world. Not only does VC³ have ongoing discussions around the topics above, but our goal is to publish our conclusions. We want to share our results with the world. We haven't published any of our work yet (we're still early in the process), but if you'd like to hear from us when we publish something, you can sign up for our mailing list here.

Why is the site private? Why not make it a public forum?

See point 1 in the question above. We think that making a private community makes it easier for people to feel comfortable sharing their ideas. We also think that an application process will help make sure that our contributors are higher quality (and more willing to seriously participate.) We do intend to publish conclusions based on our discussions, but what we publish will be written and vetted by our contributors before going public.

What's the time commitment like?

Our contributors are all very busy people. Whether you have 30 minutes a week or multiple hours, you should be able to contribute to VC³. We sometimes do video meetings between contributors, but that's strictly based on individual availability.


Many of our contributors have full-time jobs. When we started VC³, we wanted to make sure that we would be able to provide value to our contributors and our audience with minimal time requirements. To try and meet that goal, we're structured around asynchronous contributions. We use Zulip as our chat and collaboration software, so you can easily catch up on the conversations that you're interested in quickly, and reply to a thread hours or days after the original discussion without seeming like you're reviving a dead conversation.


Please keep in mind, our community is designed around active participation. Even if you don't have very much time, we hope to enable you to contribute to the discussion. If you don't expect to be able to add your voice to the conversation at least occasionally though, you might be a better fit for our mailing list.

What about my intellectual property?

The goal of our group isn't to build a team of people to solve the problems here. We're simply a place for our contributors to discuss and debate the ideas they might have for solving these sorts of problems. An idea on its own can't typically be protected as intellectual property. (You can patent some ideas, but most of what we discuss in VC³ isn't patentable.) When we publish our work, we always seek approval before using your name or likeness, or before publishing direct quotes.


If you're expecting someone to sign an NDA before discussing your idea, VC³ probably isn't the place for you. Even though our group is private, anyone in our group is free to take inspiration from anything we discuss. That said, our group's goal is to better enable you to iterate on your ideas, not to steal them.

I don't want to join, but I'm interested in following your progress. Can I do that?

Sure! You can sign up for our mailing list here.

What if I have more questions?

We have a box on the application form for any extra questions you might have, so feel free to apply and send them our way!