Monthly Archive for January, 2010

Recent Links

Here are a few interesting things from this week that I wanted to share …

The Importance of Active Community Management – Proved With Real Data

Give yourself the best chance of community building success

Simple Tactics To Encourage Your Members To Talk More

Blogging Businesses Experience 126% Higher Lead Growth Than Non-Blogging Businesses

Behind SEGA’s Free Stuff Friday – Online Community, Social Media Strategy

The Socialization of Email Marketing

Boom Time in Second Life

Who is the ME in Social Media?

Follow changes to any website (create a feed)

The Writing Practice

Baby Boomers Get Connected with Social Media

You can find all of my links on Delicious.

Blogging Elsewhere

Here is this week’s summary of links to my posts appearing on other blogs:

GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily*

Intel Software Network*

The Crazy Neighbor*

If you want a feed of all of my blog posts across multiple sites, you can also subscribe to my über feed.

*Disclaimers:

  • GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily: I am a paid blogger for the GigaOM network.
  • Intel Software Network: I provide consulting services to Intel, and these blog posts are one part of my consulting engagement
  • The Crazy Neighbor: This is a Fast Wonder LLC venture.

WebVisions 2010: Monitoring Online Conversations with Free Tools

WebVisions SpeakerI am excited that I will be presenting at WebVisions again this year with a talk on Techniques for Monitoring Online Conversations with Free Tools. I’ll talk about the latest free tools and advanced techniques for monitoring online conversations across the social web to help you quickly and efficiently find information about people mentioning your organization or competition as well as finding information about general topics that interest you.

This is the 10th year for WebVisions, a three-day conference that explores the future of Web design, technology, user experience and business strategy from May 19 – 21, 2010 at the Oregon Convention Center.

They are still working on speakers and agendas, but here are a few speakers that I am already excited about!

  • Merlin Mann: Keynote (oooh, I hope he talks about Inbox Zero!)
  • Adam DuVander on mapping and location
  • James Keller and Raven Zachary on iPhone apps
  • Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone on designing social experiences
  • Tom Hughes-Croucher on web APIs

It’s a great conference, and the conference fees are really reasonable starting at $225 if you register before March 31 (less for students). It’s also a great excuse to visit Portland, OR in the spring!

Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day

Community Manager At Work

Community Manager At Work

First, I wanted to thank Jeremiah Owyang for being the ultimate community manager by putting together a framework for Community Manager Appreciation Day and organizing the rest of us to help get the word out and support the effort.

Community Manager Appreciation Day will be the 4th Monday in every January, and it’s a great excuse to and recognize the contributions and thank those people who are managing your online communities and social programs. These people work tirelessly on behalf of your organization and much of what they do happens behind the scenes and often goes unnoticed by management and community members alike. Have you ever wondered who answers all of those questions, cleans up after spam attacks and makes sure that the community runs so smoothly that you never need to think about it? There is probably someone acting as community manager regardless of their official title within your organization.

The role of community manager can be a tough one. They face challenges from within the organization to justify the ROI and drive programs needed for the community while at the same time being beat up by spammers or demanding community members who want more. To top it all off, this isn’t a 9 to 5 job where the community shuts down from 5pm to 9am, so community managers often need to jump into the community during their off hours to resolve issues. Despite all of these challenges, the role can also be rewarding and fun, which is why so many of us choose this profession.

Here are a few of Jeremiah’s suggestions for recognizing your community manager:

  • If you’re a customer, and your problem was solved by a community manager be sure to thank them in the medium that helped you in. Use the hashtag #CMAD.
  • If you’re a colleague with community manager, take the time to understand their passion to improve the customer –and company experience. Copy their boss.
  • If you’re a community manager, stop and breathe for a second, and know that you’re appreciated. Hug your family.

Have you thanked your community manager today?

Supported by Bill Johnston, Connie Benson, Rachel Happe, Jake McKee, Sean O’Driscoll, Lane Becker, Dawn Foster, Thor Muller, Amy Muller and Jeremiah Owyang.

Photo by Aaron Hockley of Hockley Photography

Recent Links

Here are a few interesting things from this week that I wanted to share …

Calendar for 2010 conferences & events

Participating in the Social Media Ecosystem – Online Community Report

How Do You Get Members To Work For Free? You Pay Them Well

Back to Basics: Want to Know What Community Members Need? Just Ask

Social Technographics: Conversationalists get onto the ladder

Hiring A Social Media or Community Manager?

Complete Brand Marketing on Facebook

Four Styles Of Marketing On Twitter

Return on Engagement for your Community

Social Media Contests – Participation is Not Always Easy to Come By

What Social Followers Want

You can find all of my links on Delicious.

Blogging Elsewhere

Here is this week’s summary of links to my posts appearing on other blogs:

GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily*

Intel Software Network*

The Crazy Neighbor*

If you want a feed of all of my blog posts across multiple sites, you can also subscribe to my über feed.

*Disclaimers:

  • GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily: I am a paid blogger for the GigaOM network.
  • Intel Software Network: I provide consulting services to Intel, and these blog posts are one part of my consulting engagement
  • The Crazy Neighbor: This is a Fast Wonder LLC venture.

Community Leadership Summit: July 17 & 18 in Portland

Jono Bacon (Ubuntu community manager) is organizing the second annual Community Leadership Summit on July 17 & 18 in Portland, Oregon (the weekend before OSCON, which has returned to my lovely city). I didn’t make it to the summit last year, since I skipped OSCON, but I heard great things about the Community Leadership Summit, so I’m not missing it this year!

Community Leadership Summit

Here’s a brief description from the website:

The Community Leadership Summit 2010 is the second incarnation of the popular event designed to bring together community leaders and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community.

The event provides an unconference style schedule in which attendees can discuss, debate and explore topics. This is augmented with a range of scheduled talks, panel discussions, networking opportunities and more.

The event provides the first opportunity of its kind to bring together the leading minds in the field with new community builders to discuss topics such as governance, creating collaborative environments, conflict resolution, transparency, open infrastructure, social networking, commercial investment in community, engineering vs. marketing approaches to community leadership and much more.

The event is free to attend, but you will need to register to help them plan the event. A big thanks to O’Reilly for offering up the space for the event.

It's Official, Twitter is Everywhere

tweetmeIf you thought that you could escape Twitter just by staying offline, you were wrong. With the appearance of the phrase “tweet me” appearing in boxes of Sweethearts candy, Twitter is now just about everywhere.

According to USA Today, your chances of getting a “tweet me” heart are about 1 in 80. When I initially read the headline, I assumed it came out of some special promotional arrangement between the two companies, but I was surprised to learn that it was the top choice in an online survey of consumers followed by “text me” and “love bug”. Well, I guess it beats “fax me” and “bite me”, which were previously used phrases. :)

New Online Community: Having a Beta Period is Important

FailUnfortunately, when an online community fails, it fails publicly. Anyone visiting the community can see that people aren’t participating, and it does not make a good impression. Whereas, traditional websites fail more privately, since only the people with access to your analytics know for sure that no one is visiting the website. Because a failure to get participation is so visible, it is important to launch with some seeded content from real people, in other words, your beta testers.

With any new community, always run a limited beta with your existing customers or a few potential customers if your company is still new. There are many benefits of running a beta.

  • You can get feedback and make improvements in the community before you launch. This allows you to fix mistakes, clarify any items that people find confusing, and make the community better than it would have been without the feedback.
  • You get a good base of initial content from people outside of your organization or project, so that when you launch, it already looks like an active community.
  • These existing beta users can help promote the community by bringing in coworkers, friends, and others who might be interested in joining your community.

Tips for running a successful beta

  • Build relationships first. If you don’t already have relationships with your potential beta testers, stop everything else and build those relationships to get to know your audience.
  • Before you build anything, talk to people and get their ideas. Share your plans and ideas while getting some initial feedback to make sure that you aren’t started down the wrong path. This probably involves some phone calls and meetings outside of the online space.
  • Start small and grow. Start with a few people in your organization and expand out a few people at time while making incremental improvements before bringing the next wave of people on board.
  • Listen, listen, and listen some more. During this beta period, you should spend your time listening to feedback and figuring out ways to make your community better.

You’ll know that you are ready to launch when you have finished working out any big issues and when you have enough activity that you are proud to call your effort a community.

Photo by Flickr user hans.gerwitz used under Creative Commons.

Recent Links

Here are a few interesting things from this week that I wanted to share …

Elements of a vibrant online community: audience segments and user types

Online Community Enforcement

The Right and Wrong Way To Grow A Forum

The Importance of Boundaries

Just…one… more… tweak | Noise to Signal

Deepen Your Networks

More governors finding Twitter tweets sweet

The Socialization of Small Business

A Rant About Women From Clay Shirky

Never Mind the Valley: Here’s Portland

You can find all of my links on Delicious.