If you have an effective engagement protocol in place and engage the community around the issues that mean the most to them, the “gripe session” can turn into a productive and cost-effective feedback mechanism. Ask people about their challenges, and when they’ve had a chance to share, ask them about potential solutions.

In my experience, the community will address outrageous comments and often help one another by sharing advice and lessons learned. Just give people a chance to talk about what really matters to them, and make sure they know you are listening. Redirect specific questions to appropriate resources, and respond to questions that will benefit the community. I learn something new or am pleasantly surprised by community contributions every day.