Posts Tagged ‘Communities of Practice’

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.



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.

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

How do facilitators make an active and vibrant group?

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment

I asked 22 facilitators from across the top 50 groups on the Knowledge Hub, how much time and what activities they spend it on when it comes to facilitating their group.

So a big thank you to Daisy, Sarah, Alex, Lesley, Sadie, Rebecca, Michael, Cathie, Richard , Ian, Nick, Michelle, Joshua, Wajeeha, Jonathan, Zoe, Barrie, Jacqueline, Jo, Richard, Michael and Tim.

These are the results compared to activities a professional community manager would do.

Do you notice any significant differences?
How facilitators make vibrant groups v2

“How much do you trust your friends & family?”

May 24, 2013 Leave a comment


Frédéric Mazzella CEO of Blabcar recently spoke at a conference with the main question “how are people able to trust one another enough to share their journeys?”

In order to answer this question, Blablacar teamed up with Groupe Chronos to do a study on how much trust members of online communities, specifically members of Blablacar, put into their online community, based on the completeness of the user profile.

With some really interesting results.  I personally try and encourage members to have a full profile and especially facilitators of groups as this start’s to build trust.

But the results from Blabcar really back this up.

“Members with a complete online profile are trusted more than a neighbour, and almost as much as a friend or a family member.”

The study took four ‘profile types’ in its online community: members with empty profiles, only a photo, only a verified phone number, only positive ratings, and someone with a complete member profile (photo, verified number, ratings, etc.).

The most interesting part of the study is the fact that members of an online community with a complete online profile – photo, ratings, verification, etc. – are almost on the same level of trust as a Friend or Family member.

The full details are available in Blabcar’s blog post

What are the engaging questions in your online community?

May 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Question MarkRichard Millington rightly points out that encouraging participation is one of the keys to a successful a vibrant group.  As part of his Feverbee blog he says there are three types of discussion:

  1. Conveying information – people interact to exchange information with one another.
  2. Bonding with others – this refers to all conversations that lack purpose, but increase the sense of kinship between members.
  3. Status-jockeying – people interact to defend or increase their status.

And the challenge is to initiate the right balance of discussions as conveying information is often misidentified as the most valuable by facilitators when developing their group.

On a recent webinar by Richard one of the things that stuck in my mind was to find other popular discussions on other forums and see if you can adapt them for your own community

So I asked facilitators from across a few communities on the Knowledge Hub what has been your most active discussion?

This is a snapshot of the types of questions that where popular.  All you have to do is fill in the blanks.

  • Does anyone know how to….. ?
  • What is your favourite……?
  • How is your xxxx organised?
  • Has anyone got an xxxx framework?
  • What software are you using to do xxxxx?
  • Can anyone recommend a training course on xxxx?
  • Why do people leave xxxx job?
  • How can we help more people get into xxxx?
  • Is the xxxx a priority in your area?
  • Should xxxx register with multiple agencies?
  • Share your pictures from XXXX event
  • When will further guidance be available on XXXX?
  • Can anyone clarify the standards that should be used regarding XXXX?
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