Category Archives: General

Online Communities: Thriving in the Downturn

I’ve talked quite a bit recently about online community careers and how they are faring in this tough economy, which reminded me that I forgot to blog about the latest ForumOne Online Community Research Network study, Online Communities: Surviving & Thriving in the Downturn Economy.

The survey was conducted in late November and early December with 90 people responding to the survey, and more information about the respondents and the survey can be found on the Online Community Report blog. Here’s a summary of the key findings.

Most communities have not been negatively impacted by the economy.

Image from OCRN
Image from OCRN

For those that have been effected, the hardest areas hit included.

  • Contractor staffing
  • Platform budget
  • Full time staffing

Communities are becoming MORE valuable to management.

When they asked:

Have your internal stakeholders (execs, management) attitudes toward the value of the online community changed because of current economic pressure?

Slightly more than half of the respondents (55%) said that their company internal stakeholder’s attitudes have changed towards the value of the online community because of the current economic pressure. For those whose stakeholder’s attitudes that had changed, over half of the respondents (55%) indicated that their internal stakeholder’s considered their online community more valuable because of the current economic pressures.

(Quoted from the Online Community Report)

The current economic issues are hitting every segment, but it’s nice to know that online communities are faring better than some other areas. This post is just a quick summary of the key points, so I encourage you to read more details on Bill Johnston’s Online Community Report blog.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Blogging Elsewhere

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

GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily

Shizzow

Portland Data Plumbing User Group (pdpug)

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

Blogging Elsewhere

Most of you know that I have been blogging on a few different blogs, so I thought it would be good to do a weekly summary with links to my posts appearing on other blogs.

GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily

Shizzow

Top Fast Wonder Posts for 2008 and Some Silliness

I was looking at my Google Analytics for 2008, and I thought it would be fun to share some of the info.

Here are the top 10 posts or pages that generated the most page views for 2008:

  1. Taking Your Idea From Side Project to Startup
  2. Yahoo Pipes and RSS Hacks
  3. Starter Kit: Social Media and Social Networking Best Practices for Business
  4. Monitoring Dashboards: Why every company should have one
  5. Consulting
  6. Why You Should Avoid Mozy Backups
  7. Using Twitter for Brands or Corporate Identities
  8. Web 2.0 Starter Kit
  9. Hiring a Community Manager
  10. Starting Point

Most of my traffic comes from the typical sources: Google, Stumbleupon, and Twitter, but I also had a fair amount of traffic from ReadWriteWeb, eLearning Technology, Silicon Florist, and Metafluence.

The most common search results included: dawn foster, best community software, mozy restore, facebook for companies, community manager, shizzow, fast wonder, mozy sucks, and blogging tips.

I also enjoying going to the end of the list to find search results that brought a single person to my blog. Here are a few of the most amusing / interesting:

  • beer consultanting
  • breakfast places near san francisco bridge where king of jordan ate
  • bubble tea facility
  • clarinet atari
  • death of myspace
  • what is going on with all the social networking sites like wikis,blogs and twitter
  • man + woman + online communitties
  • handy tips + how to change a fluorescent kitchen unit bulb
  • green dragon dawn foster
  • facebook rss stalk
  • community manager career — why?
  • “highly illogical” spock
  • bill gates quote faster

OK, enough silliness for today. I hope all of you have a happy new year!

Comments for One Author on Multi-Author WordPress Blog

I wanted to have a way to find all of the comments posted on any of my WebWorkerDaily posts, but I couldn’t find an easy way to do it in WordPress (I don’t have access to plugins, since it isn’t my blog). As always, I turned to Yahoo Pipes for the solution, and I made it customizable so that others could use my pipe. Since I wrote this pipe for my use, it supports the configuration I needed, and I also tested it on TechCrunch, Mashable, and GigaOM. However, there were quite a few multi-user blogs where it does not work, so please pay close attention to the caveats below before using my new Comments for One Author on Multi-Author WordPress Blog pipe.

Caveats:

  • Works only with WordPress Blogs
  • Works only with blogs using Feedburner
  • Will not work under non-standard URL / feed formats

I suspect that the WordPress / Feedburner combo is probably the most common configuration for multi-user blogs, so it should work for many blogs. However, if you aren’t using the configuration supported by this pipe, you should be able to clone the pipe and tweak it pretty easily to use other formats.

Usage:

  1. Go to the Comments for One Author on Multi-Author WordPress Blog pipe.
  2. Enter the URL for your Feedburner feed.
  3. Enter the author’s name.
  4. Grab the RSS feed output.

Please feel free to leave any thoughts or suggestions in the comments below.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Shizzow: Adding the Bay Area and Bootstrapping

Today we have a couple of announcements about Shizzow. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Shizzow,  Shizzow is a social service that was built with the goal of making it as easy as possible to find and hang out with your friends in the real world for happy hours, parties, nights out on the town, co-working sessions in coffee shops and much more. Shizzow provides the technology for you to find nearby friends on a map, get a list of people currently sitting in your local coffee shop or pub, and find specific friends. We want you to spend more time hanging out with your peeps and less time trying to coordinate bringing them together through phone, email, SMS and IM.

Shizzow is currently a labor of love that is entirely bootstrapped (in other words, we have no revenue, and we are working on Shizzow in addition to our full time gigs). I still do online community and social media consulting to pay the bills, but I spend my free time managing the Shizzow community. We have talked about getting VC or Angel funding, but part of the announcement today is that we are going to continue to bootstrap Shizzow. Bootstrapping gives us more control over the company, and allows us to focus on the product rather than having to focus on courting investors.

The first wave of the Shizzow private beta was only open to people in Portland, OR. Today, we are sending invites to people in the Bay Area, CA, so the second part of our announcement is that people in the bay area can now get invites to Shizzow. If you live in the bay area and would like an invite, just send me an email: dawn at Shizzow.com.

You can find all of the details about both of these announcements on the Shizzow blog.

New Open Source Conference Coming to Portland

Were you sad and dismayed to hear that OSCON was moving out of Portland? Are you looking for more open source events to attend? Would you like an open source conference organized by the community? Want one more tech event to attend in July? Need an excuse (any excuse) to visit lovely Portland, Oregon in July? Do you like to help organize events for fun in your spare time?

If you answered yes to any of my obnoxious questions above, I have a great solution for you: The Open Source Bridge event.

pdx group tag cloud

Selena does a great job of sharing how the idea to do this event was born, the purpose of the event, the details, and how you can get involved:

Open Source Bridge will bring together the diverse tech communities of the greater Portland area and showcase our unique and thriving open source environment.

Open Source Bridge
will have curated, discussion-focused conference sessions, mini-conferences for critical topics and will include unconference sessions.

We will show how well Portland does open source and share our best practices for development, community and connectedness with the rest of the world.

Lots of ideas are buzzing around in our heads, and we’d love to talk about them with you! If you’d like to contribute to the effort, stop by the town hall event October 30, 2008 at Cubespace. We’ll have another meeting November 6th, and it will be announced on Calagator.

At the town hall, you’ll have a chance to meet the members of the core organizing committee, and pick up a responsibility or two. We’ll be breaking off into teams for each of the major areas requiring organization, and distributing the work across many people. We will create a mailing list after this first meeting for those who just want to hear about what we’re up to, or participate in some other way.

(Quote from Selena Deckelmann)

I encourage you to attend the Town Hall to share your ideas with the team and to talk about how you can get more involved in the event. The key to community driven events is that they require a lot of work from volunteers both during the planning stages and on site during the event! If you want this event to be successful, I encourage you to pitch in to help.

Town Hall

Images above are also from Selena Deckelmann.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Companies and Communities at the Corvallis SAO

I spent yesterday evening in Corvallis presenting at Corvallis chapter of the Software Association of Oregon on the topic of Companies and Communities: Participating without being sleazy. I always enjoying spending time in Corvallis. It’s a fun college town with some very interesting and innovative technology companies: Strands, ViewPlus, ProWorks, and many more.

This SlideShare presentation is what I used last evening to lead the discussion: