The world feels uncertain right now as we face an unprecedented crisis. Our jobs and our livelihoods are at risk. It's a stressful time for all of us. But there is hope, as we see people coming together to support each other.
Slack channels are opening up everywhere for niche communities. Designers, illustrators, photographers and artists are starting initiatives to give back and help us stay positive and survive the coming weeks (and possibly months). And people are finding innovative ways to "carry on regardless". It's humbling to see the kindness and generosity of the human spirit.
Inspired by what I've seen, and remembering why I started Creative Boom following the global economic crisis of 2008, I wanted to see what more we could do to reach out and help.
We considered a Slack channel but wanted something a bit more permanent – one where people could create topics and threads, and be able to search back through if they needed to in future. We also wanted to keep our costs down and bootstrap into something that could continue once things have returned to normal because we'll keep this going if people need us to.
So we've started Creative Boom Chat, a free and private forum – built on Discourse. It's away from social media and the search engines. It's non-commercial. It's a friendly and supportive community (any nonsense or negativity and you'll be politely asked to leave, that's not what Creative Boom is about).
Working from home on Friday, trying to keep focused and positive, I asked people on Twitter whether they wanted to join. By the end of the day, I had 1,800 email addresses. On Saturday morning, Creative Boom Chat went live and 1,000 of you have officially become members.
There are lots of emerging as well as established creatives on there – from many disciplines and backgrounds. We're spreading joy, sharing tips, talking about how to survive and lifting each other's spirits.
It weirdly feels like 2009 all over again – when Creative Boom was just getting started. It feels so sad that many of us are facing such a challenging time, but we're in the same boat, and I know we can get through this. The important thing is our health, our families, and our friends. And doing what we can to remain positive.
If you'd like to become a member of Creative Boom Chat, go to chat.creativeboom.com and request to join. Please bear with us – it's proving quite popular, and we're doing our best to add people as fast as we can!