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I’m at IZEAFest in Orlando, Florida!

Posted by Patrick on September 30th, 2009 in ManagingCommunities.com

izeafest-logoFrom October 1-4, I’ll be at IZEAFest in Orlando, Florida. The conference has a lot of great speakers, like Chris Brogan, Lucretia Pruitt, Wayne Sutton, Wendy Piersall and more. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and if you’re attending and would like to meet up, please drop me a note on Twitter.

Part of being a good community administrator is believing in yourself. It’s always easy for an outsider, someone who doesn’t know what it means to manage your community, to say “look in the mirror” and consider how you could do better – without actually thinking of actual situations or moments. That’s too easy. Far, far too easy.

If you care about your community, believe in yourself. That doesn’t mean arrogance, it doesn’t mean that you’re always right, but it does mean that you’re trying hard and that you consider your decisions carefully and when you do something, chances are it was actually required. Caring is that powerful.

There is this train of thought that if someone else doesn’t understand you or doesn’t do the right things on your community, that it isn’t their fault, it’s yours. While may sometimes be the case and  you can always be looking to improve, do not allow that to turn into needlessly blaming yourself for the actions of other people.  People will take warnings the wrong way, people will not like having their post removed or edited, people will not like being told they can’t do something… that doesn’t mean that your actions are wrong. That doesn’t mean that you should change a single thing. Meaningful change doesn’t come from knee jerk reactions to singular events.  Meaningful change comes from witnessing trends and adjusting to ensure your community handles them in a consistent manner.

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This is the video for “Victory” by Diddy featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. It’s a masterpiece and one of my favorite music videos of all times. It’s an awesomely inspiration song and quotable in so many ways.

During Diddy’s opening verse, he opens with this gem: “yo, the sun don’t shine forever, but as long as it’s here, then we might as well shine together.”

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Social Media Business ForumOn October 23 in Durham, North Carolina, I’ll be speaking at Social Media Business Forum. I’m featured on a pair of panels during the first half of the day’s programming.

From 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, I’ll be participating in the “Advertising and the Social Web: Can it Work?” session with Gregory Ng, the Creative Director at Brooks Bell Interactive and other panelists to be determined. With my articles relating to the Sports Legends Challenge spam marketing practices, I’ve talked about how not to penetrate the social web, as an advertiser or a marketer. So, this should be a lot of fun.

The “Building and Managing an Online Community” panel will be my next stop, from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. For this one, I’ll be joined by Angela Benton, the Publisher of BlackWeb20.com; Ryan Boyles, an Advisory Software Engineer for IBM and Laurie Smithwick, Founder and Creative Director of LEAP Design and Founder of Kirtsy.

Social Media Business Forum is shaping up to be quite an event with an excellent speaker lineup. If you are within 5 hours of Durham and you are involved or have an interest in business, social media, web development, marketing, online community or any related subjects, it is definitely worth checking out. You can register online. If you’re coming, please let me know!

Last October, I traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina for ConvergeSouth and the Independent Blogging Conference at Greensboro. I spoke at the latter, leading a solo session and participating in the day’s opening panel.

Led by Kelby Carr of Type-A Mom, the panel also featured Jared Smith of Charleston Weather, Heather Solos of Home Ec 101 and Anne Fitten-Glenn. It was titled “The Blogging Revolution” and we discussed blogging in general, the responsibility of it, where we saw the medium going and more. We had a great Q&A and discussion with the group that attended. Thank you to Kelby Carr and Dave Slusher for having me.

Unfortunately, we used up my entire camera tape before we ended, so I didn’t get the entire session. However, in the clip below, you can watch the length of the recording.

In addition to Vimeo, the video has also been uploaded to YouTube, in parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Torley Troll Doll pet (wear)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Torley

“I just banned that guy,” you say to yourself. “For the sixth time.”

In my experience, the vast majority of banned members will stop coming back once their second account is banned, if not for their first. But, once in a while, you get the real special ones. These people are none too pleased with you banning them. Maybe they regret their errors or, perhaps more likely, they just want to wreak havoc. What can you do?

Well, you can report them to their ISP, for one. What else? This question has plagued man and woman since the dawn of online community. Some effective solutions have been offered through technical innovation.

In vBulletin, there is a  well known feature called Tachy Goes to Coventry. My friend Ted Sindzinski tells me that this marks every post a member has made as private, so that only they can see it, and the same is also true for any post they make from that point forward. So, they are able to think that they are actually posting, but no one is actually seeing their posts. Since this would only be applied to accounts created specifically to troll or to get around a ban, this type of Global Ignore function works well.

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Recently, on the e-mint discussion list, a member was asking for some suggestions for a list of 10 ways to kill your online community, with some humor. Taking approximately 10-15 minutes, I came up with a quick, fun, spur of the moment list and I thought I’d share it with you!

1. Don’t have any guidelines! We’re all adults – and cursing is fun! Weeeeeeeeee…

2. Since we’re all adults, it’s not like you actually need to visit your site much. A few times a month should be good.

3. Create an open group that anyone can join called “Moderators” and let anyone who wants to join in and move, edit or delete whatever they want. They’re here to help!

4. As the administrator, when you post, try to set the worst example possible. Since humans all strive to be better than one another, this will force your members to be awesome!

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izeafest-logoWhat’s up with October? I don’t attend any conferences since South by Southwest Interactive in March and now, all of a sudden, I’m going to three in the month of October. I’ve already mentioned that I’ll be attending Blog World Expo (Las Vegas, October 15-17) and Social Media Business Forum (Durham, NC, October 23). Now, I’ll also be attending IZEAFest in Orlando from October 1-4.

It’s a single track conference with a solid lineup of speakers including Chris Brogan, Wendy Piersall and others. The last day of the conference is a day at SeaWorld, as well. Coupled with the friends in attendance, it should be a fun experience. I managed to win a pass from Elizabeth Edwards of Table for Five, so a big thank you to her.

If you’re planning to attend and would like to meet up, please let me know. I’ll see you there!

I had a conversation with a member on one of my communities the other day. I had sent him a notification to let him know he had violated the guidelines and his reply was fine, he was apologetic, but he said that he didn’t like being “told off.” And that just didn’t sit real well with me. I felt like he may have been looking at me like this little guy to the right.

OK, so, what’s the big deal? Well, maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t. But, my contact templates – my messages are members – are written in a way where we don’t want them to be looked at as being “told off,” nor is that our intention, at any point. We are aiming to inform and to help, generally speaking, with these notifications. We tell people what was removed, why and, as such, how to avoid it in the future. I never want anyone to think of these messages as them being “told off.”

I could have let it go, but I seized on it and told the member that I wasn’t telling him off and not to take it that way – simply put, we’re all friendly here and we are mainly trying to help and if he has any further questions, to please let me know.

Will it have any impact? Who knows. But, on a scale of noting the language that members use and kindly correcting any negative and improper perceptions, I believe it does have an impact, I believe it demonstrates that you care and that there is  a human connection.

So, the next time that a member mischaracterizes something that you’ve done, step up and let them know what the actual intention was. You never know, you might make a connection with that person.