Do you have a plan for when your community manager moves on?

April 8, 2014 Leave a comment

transferring......So your community manger is moving on.  You ask them to write handover notes.  You get a list of social media accounts that they use and they move to a new job.

Will the community survive? Probably not.

Most online communities have one real driving force behind it.  And you have missed the opportunity to hand the baton over to other people.

It’s the conversation that is normally missed out and it makes such a big difference and identifies so much more than you can write down.

This happens a lot in organisations when someone moves jobs, it’s only an afterthought.

There becomes a Knowledge Gap.  I heard that it normally takes 18 months for a new employee to become profitable to the organisation and for them to be fully integrated with the way of work.

Can you afford that time delay in an online community?  And would the members be happy with someone new just turning up without an introduction?

If you get a chance just do a search on Knowledge Retention and Transfer.  There’s some great stuff out there that will help you start the conversation if your community manager is about to move on.

Creating a playbook for Community Managers

February 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Madden '96There are some great community playbooks out there that take you through the establishing and launching of your community with a few tips on how to keep it going.

Such as Cisco’s Community Playbook, Salesforce’s Community Playbook and DNN’s Community Playbook

One of the things that there are an abundance of material on is the creating of an online community or community of practice.  But there’s not so much on how to really facilitate the activity in the community and help it thrive.

What techniques, what tactics can use you to help move your community forward?

For me the word Playbook goes back to the days of playing John Madden on my Sega Mega Drive.

And the three key elements

  • Offense
  • Defence
  • Special Teams

Can you take those elements in to Community Management and create techniques to help your community?

If you did, what techniques or tactics would you use for the below?

Offensive plays would be all about breaking down the boundaries of the community and moving it forward. You will be looking to increase the number of discussions and participating members.

Improve the quality of the conversations and content, and encourage better relationships between the members.

Defensive plays – Most online communities are happy as they are.  Help them hold onto that position of contentment, but they will still need a consistent flow of activities to keep them happy.

Special Teams – would be activities that have the ability to cause momentum shifts, increasing participation as well as building a stronger sense of community.

MY TURN TO SAY THANK YOU.

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Monday the 27th Jan is a normal day for most people unless you work in the community management environment.

This year the 27th was a Monday and this meant it wasCommunity Manager Appreciation Day

It’s the 5th year this has run.  And each year it gets bigger and bigger.  Who would have thought that 5 years ago there would be a 24 hour Google Hangout talking about community management?

I have been doing small things over the last few years since I came across #cmad.  It started with just saying thank you to some of the great facilitators that I worked with and has slowly got bigger.

Last year I was able to run a small event that included great presentations from Alan Boulter and Richard Millington which I made a little storify for.

But this year I was able to link up with the Knowledge and Innovation Network to do something slightly bigger.  No not a 24 hour hangout.  But a blended event online and offline bringing a range of different people to talk about how they run communities in their organisation and the tactics they use.

So a big thank you from me for making it such a great event goes out to Erica Hurley, Phil Ridout (Phil’s Skype account) and Dimple Rathod for the organisation.  Sarah Jennings and Liz Copeland for tweeting and helping to capture the day.

A special thank you to all the presenters:

Not forgetting all the people that participated in the day, face to face, online or via the webinars.

Hopefully next year we can make it bigger and spread the word even further about the importance of great community management.

Here’s this year’s Storify

Show your ap-pre-ci-a-tion

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s that time again.  For that one Monday in January we all say thank you to the facilitators of our communities during Community Manager Appreciation Day

Please take a moment to say thank you to those who put all the hard work in behind the scene to keep the communities that you participate in going. It’s not often they get thanks.  And just one thank you makes such a big difference.

Don’t just blame the tech, ask yourself did you get the purpose right?

October 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Blame TechnologyI’ve seen roll outs of different technology including SharePoint , Microsoft Office , CRM, Clarity Project Management etc, etc.   And you always hear the same comments, I don’t like it, it’s clunky, it’s the wrong colour, it makes my eye hurt (I made the last one up) etc, etc.

So how do some online communities survive and thrive when the tech they use is sometimes odd, old and clunky.  My only explanation is the purpose and the WIIFM.  Otherwise known as COMMUNITY

Take sites such as Money Saving Expert and Golf GTI Forum.  They are a bit messy and on first look hard to understand.  I have to admit MSE is so much better now.  But what they do have is a strong sense of community, a clear purpose of what it is and what it can do.

So there are examples that show community beats technology.

All you need to ask yourself is, do you have a compelling purpose for your community, that no matter what barriers technology, people or otherwise that get thrown in the way that the community survives and thrives.

10 ways to create and active and thriving group

July 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Myself and @dimplerathod sat down the other week after finishing the Golden Rules from Online Facilitators and had a chat about what would our top 10 tip be to someone starting an online community, but also what would they need to do to keep the community going.

Here’s our top 10 tips.

Next time it might be top 20 or 30

Golden Rules from Online Community Facilitators

July 4, 2013 Leave a comment

After reading the excellent blog by Blaise Grimes Voirt and his ebook called 60 Insights from Experienced Community Managers.

I’ve always wanted to do the same thing with the people I work with.

I might not have got to 60 but here are 16 insights from Online Facilitators across the Knowledge Hub mainly based on our Online Facilitator of the Month interviews.

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