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From November 18, 2005 through January 20, 2007, I hosted The Community Admin Show, a podcast about random community management related issues. I tackled all sorts of issues, talked about resources and even had some fun features, like what we can learn from Jack Bauer and Dr. Gregory House about community management.

Another great part of the show was the interviews. I talked to experienced community administrators and other smart people, including Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, Cynthia Mosher of MotheringDotCommunity, Jeremy Wright of b5media, Pete Murray of ScubaBoard, Jonathan Bailey of PlagiarismToday and others.

As the podcast site was taken offline a while back, the shows no longer appear to be online for listening. So, I thought that I might start posting them here, episode by episode. Is that something that anyone would want? Please let me know. Thanks.


As a community manager or administrator, the situations we have to deal with are as varied as life itself. For all talk about the online and offline worlds being different, at the end of the day, they have more in common than they do dissimilar. Unfortunately, this is not just the fun, easy parts of life, but also the difficult, challenging ones.

Though it may not be one of the more enjoyable parts of our job, it’s smart and important to ponder what circumstances we may face, even if we haven’t yet faced them. This leads me to what I’d like to talk about today: suicide on our online community, and how we can most effectively help and protect everyone involved. This isn’t about suicide in general, why people think about it, the repercussions of it or anything of that nature – this is strictly about how we should approach it on our communities.

When we think about suicide on an online community or social space, the two recent examples that will probably jump to your head are Abraham K. Biggs’ suicide on Justin.TV and the suicide of Megan Meier, apparently driven by messages exchanged through MySpace.

Before I jump into this subject, I want to be clear that I believe that we are all responsible for our actions as individuals. I don’t think it’s fair to blame Justin.TV, MySpace or any community or social site for the actions of an individual in this sort of case. The nature of communication itself dictates otherwise.

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So, I was taking a look at Hunch, a site created by Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, that claims to be a “decision-making tool that gets smarter the more you use it.” Out of curiosity, I punched in the word “forums” to see what would come up. The first result was “Should I become a forum moderator?”

I answered every question thinking of myself as the worst moderator candidate possible and I got “86% (No): You should probably think longer.” And then I answered it in the way that an ideal moderator might. The result? “95% (Yes): Yes, you should definitely consider becoming a Mod.” If you try to do this, please let me know what you get in the comments.

I think the quiz (and it’s creator) deserves credit for creating a generally accurate portrayal of some of the things that go into being a good forum moderator.


A few days ago, I mentioned that I would be attending Blog World Expo 2009 in Las Vegas from October 15-17. I’m happy to say that I’ve got a coupon code to share that will save you 20% off of the current rate. When purchasing through their site, use the coupon code IFROGGYVIP. Their rates increase on July 1 (though the coupon will still be good after that), so if you are thinking of coming, now would be the best time to buy the ticket for the least amount of money. I hope to see you there!


In addition to the Facebook fan page, I’ve just added ManagingCommunities.com to the NetworkedBlogs Facebook application, making it possible to receive notifications of new posts at ManagingCommunities.com through Facebook. If you are a Facebook user, please consider a subscription.

Thank you for reading and for your support.


Last year, I attended Blog World Expo (in it’s second year) for the first time (see my recap) and participated in two panels: “How to Deal with Trolls, Spammers & Sock Puppets” and “Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media.” It was a lot of fun and a great experience.

I’m happy to say that I’ll be back at this year’s edition, which runs from October 15-17 in Las Vegas. I’m on four panel proposals, so I am hoping to speak, as well as do another book signing this year, if they’ll have me. I’m working with them to promote the conference on the iFroggy Network. Here are the panel proposals that I’m on:

So, we’ll see if any of them get accepted, but it’ll be a fun event no matter what happens! On July 1, pricing will go up, so if you are interested in coming, now might be a good time to take a look. Hope to see you there.


Your community should have it’s own mission. Why do you exist? Who are you? Who are you for? What do you want to be? Those are the things you and your community should be focused on.

Unfortunately, what can happen sometimes is that your community is used to talk about another community in a negative way. “I was banned from this forum. They suck! The administrator is a lunatic!” Sound familiar?

Generally speaking, I believe that your community should be about your community – not about cross forum politics. If someone has an issue with how someone else runs their site, they can take it up with that person. Either way, how someone else runs their site shouldn’t really be a topic of discussion on your site, which should be focused on it’s own identity.

Please be careful not to lose that. At the end of the day, you want people who are at your community to be at your community – not people who are there to bash someone else’s. Even if it’s someone you don’t like – even if you feel they deserve it. There may be exceptions, but try to take the high road and not let your community become consumed by it.

Stay focused and keep it moving.


I would really like to do more mailbag type features here on ManagingCommunities.com. I’d like to answer your questions in a post, provide you with some information that you are looking for and link to your site in the process (if you have one – totally optional). Anonymous questions are welcomed, as well, if you’d rather I didn’t include your info in a post.

So, if you have something you’d like answered, please let me know.


In life, we meet people who dismiss resources that could help them as being for beginners or “newbies” or whatever, as if learning from said resources was somehow beneath them. Whether it be books, websites, conference talks or something else, it happens. Perhaps those who are brand new to a particular craft stand the most to gain from a resource, but that can be said for anything and does not invalidate the value that it can be provide to the experienced. Community management is no exception.

If someone has been doing it for a while and they have some great experience – that’s awesome. But, you don’t want that to make you thumb your nose at additional opportunities to learn in fear that, if you say you are learning from something, you think it makes you appear weak or not the expert you want to be seen as. Just the opposite is true.

I learn everyday, from all sorts of people. Members, my staff, my peers. Whatever. I want to keep learning and to keep getting better. I’m open to any opportunity for that. That does not make me weak or anything like that. I believe that it makes me smarter and stronger and that this is the way that a community administrator should be.

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