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Why community facilitators need to be appreciated?

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

This is a bit of a follow on from the Community Manager Appreciation Day #cmad

If you would like to find out a bit more check out the posts below

14 Days to go – Community Facilitator/Manager Appreciation Day

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all those great people out there that have the tireless task of being a community facilitator and try all different ways to turn a stranger in to a participant within an online community?

The role of the facilitator is tough, they have a multiply roles and sometimes called can be classed as Jack of all trades and if you had the chance to look inside the mind of a community facilitator that’s what it would look like.

With most communities the facilitator only has 21 days to hook a member and there a many ways you can cheat in building your community.  But sometimes in just a bit of fun that gets the party started as a facilitator.

You could lead a community by force, by making them make a post or else they will be sorry but is that really the way to do it, people are the life blood of the community mangers cannot create a community

Otherwise you could be back to square one and have to spend time trying to bring back one community member every day, and if the community and the people around the facilitator fail to appreciate what the facilitator does, the facilitator may leave and the community may come crashing down as in the case of Tom Hambarger

So who are these mad people that facilitate your communities?  And is it a game of Guess who?  Blaise Grimes – Viort’s survey with over 180 Community Managers across Spanish, German, British, French, American and other nations’ seemed to suggest that your star sign may have some influence over the role.  With Virgo and Libra topping the charts.

I have posed the question is it’s down to the year of your birth and your Chinese Zodiac sign.  I very much doubt it but it has got people talking and the key role of an online community facilitator is to get people talking.  This is where the introductions happen and the serendipity moments.

So is there any real point to this blog post.  Not really.  But I hope that you found some of it interesting and maybe had a bit of fun and now have some ideas of your own to try out with your community as you know them the best.

And as Derek Powazek says “Community Management is the process of making decisions with good intentions & then cleaning up after the explosion

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14 Days to go – Community Facilitator/Manager Appreciation Day

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s time for the THIRD annual CMAD on the 23rd of January.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Manager_Appreciation_Day

What to do? It’s so easy: Thank your Community Manager in blog posts, tweets, hugs, or gift them tea, cakes and biscuits

Or use a combination, everyone knows that Community Facilitators / Managers love biscuits.

What is community evangelism?

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

P1030640This is something is been mulling over for the last few day.

I’ve always thought that the evangelist was the person who spreads the good word.  I’ll have to go and check this on Wikipedia.

But thinking about it a bit more, maybe there is more than one type of evangelism.

My first type is someone like Don King.  They spread the word about there area but at some point I feel they become the attraction not the message they are trying to spread.

My second type is the person that spread the word of others and puts them before themselves.

I’m thinking people like Shaun Callaghan at Anecdote, Stan Garfield at Deloitte’s, Chris Collison once of BP and Steve Dale at the LGID.  Yes I know that I have directed you to their websites

But they spread the word of others and are recognised for it.

Or if I put my game related hat on then you have people such as Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) of Xbox Live and Dan Amrick (one of Swords) of Activsion who go out and promote others.

So as a community evangelist who should you be?

A Don King or the Larry Hyrb?

I know that I don’t want to stick my fingers in the plug socket

Who is Top of the CoPs for 2011?

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1964-2006 BBC Top of the PopsIn 2009 we started an internal ToP of the CoPs scheme where each month we would look at a particular topic and at the end of the year we asked for a written nomination from each community why they should be the CoP of the Year.

This went down really well, and when other communities from across Communities of Practice for Public Service heard about it they asked “can we enter it next year”.

So 2011 see’s the second CoP of the Year Awards.  And what a fight that went on. 

We broke it down into three award categories again

  • innovation and creativity
  • efficiency through collaboration
  • effective facilitation team

And the overall winner was selected from the winners of three categories.

The votes for CoP of the Year went down to the wire with split decisions from our esteemed panel of judges.   This was no X-Factor but still the excitement was there.

So the winners for 2011 are:

Innovation and creativity

Winner: Child Poverty

Efficiency through collaboration

Winner: Workforce Matters

Effective facilitation team

Winner: Project and Programme Management (PPM)

Overall CoP of the Year Award

Winner: Workforce Matters

If you would like to see the winning application you can view them here (sign in required)

Who am I? What does a real online community facilitator look like?

October 20, 2010 1 comment

When it comes to being a community facilitator is it something that comes naturally or is it something thatthe REAL 'new' Guess Who (?) can be learnt.  Or in some cases something that shouldn’t be attempted.

Jon Harvey helped us explore this in his Hotseats on the Facilitators Community called “How much of good facilitation is about having a toolbox of lots of techniques and how much is it about ‘being’ a good facilitator?”

 And helped start a list of things I wish I had known before becoming a facilitator

  • The level of time commitment that is involved and how hands on it can be
  • How much I rely on the support of fellow facilitators of the community
  • Learn enough about the subject to find the right people to help
  • Phone, email and chatting are your support to the online space.
  • There’s lots to read out there and being a participate in other groups online really helps because you can see how the facilitators make you feel.

Yes there are Job descriptions out there about being a community facilitator

Skills & Attributes Requirements

  • Facilitators possess qualified experience in online or face-to-face facilitation for communities, teams or groups.
  • Facilitators exhibit exemplary interpersonal and communications skills. Excellent observation, interpretation, networking and listening skills are required to keep meetings, online conversations, and community events and activities engaging, flowing and vibrant.
  • Proficiency and experience in online or face-to- face collaboration tools, software and technology is required.

But I picked up on these two descriptions the other day.  This may sum it up.

Community / Facilitator Manager is part detective, part sociologist, part bouncer, part concierge, part tough guy/woman, part big softie @SueOnTheWeb

Community / Facilitator Manager is a member’s personal social ninja – leaping into action to help them engage and collaborate@mijori23

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