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sxsw-interactive-2009At last year’s South by Southwest Interactive (see my recap), I gave a solo presentation titled “The Art of Responding to Feedback From Your Community.” The basis of this talk was a blog post made on this site in January of 2009.

The presentation is based around my three steps for responding to feedback. In short, they are: appreciate, acknowledge and consider. Be appreciative that someone contacted you, acknowledge their perspective and what they are saying and then consider it and how applicable it may or may not be.

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I Speak at Conferences and Events

Posted by Patrick on January 29th, 2010 in ManagingCommunities.com

photo credit: BuzzShift

For what seems like forever, I’ve been working on my just launched about and speaking pages. Probably the biggest reason I did it was because I’m hoping to speak more. Since finishing “Managing Online Forums,” I’ve done 11 engagements at 7 different events.

While this doesn’t make me a veteran, it means I’m not just starting out, either. So, I’m hoping to get more serious about speaking and I would like it to become a slightly larger part of my life.

When I speak, I tend to focus on the value of social media and online community to individuals and businesses and how best to participate in these areas as a manager/owner, marketer or user/member.

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Birthday Cake
Creative Commons License photo credit: kiewic

It was two years ago today that I launched ManagingCommunities.com. Once you reach a certain age, time just seems to fly by!

In light of this milestone, I wanted to take a moment to thank all my loyal readers. I appreciate your support and your contributions. I hope that I’ve provided value to you through useful information and advice. I look forward to seeing what this next year brings.

Thank you for reading ManagingCommunities.com.

“Freedom of speech” is a tricky subject. In the United States of America, where I’m from, it’s something that we as citizens take full advantage of. Sometimes, this is awesome – sometimes, it is quite ugly. But, the key is that we have the freedom to be either one of those things and many things in between. Freedom of speech is also highly misunderstood.

Where Problems Arise

The misunderstanding I want to talk about today is one you’ve no doubt experienced, if you’re run a community with guidelines for any measurable portion of time: the members who believe that, by some sort of law, they are allowed to say whatever they want, whenever they want, on your community.

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Social Media Business ForumJust a few days after getting home from Blog World & New Media Expo in Las Vegas, it was time to hit the road for Durham, North Carolina, in order to attend the first ever Social Media Business Forum, organized by OurHashtag and held on October 23. Specifically, the men behind the event were Jeff Cohen, Kipp Bodnar, Ryan Boyles and Wayne Sutton.

Wayne is a good friend, so I really wanted to do the event, if I could, to support it. I’d met Kipp before and spent some time with him, as well. I hadn’t met Jeff or Ryan, but by the end of the event, I’d spent some quality time with all four and they’re a great group of guys.

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haiti-flagMy prayers and thoughts are with the people of Haiti and everyone affected by this terrible disaster.

What is apparent in times like this is that everything counts, no matter how small. Can you afford to donate $5? $3? $1? If so, that’s great. It may be a small amount to you, all on it’s own, but coupled with other small amounts, it becomes a big, powerful amount. You can find a list of charities on WhatGives!?

Can’t afford to donate? You can still spread the word. The power of online community and social media has afforded everyone a voice if they choose to have one. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, etc.; you have a community of people and connections. Share worthwhile initiatives with them and help bring awareness. It only takes a few moments to send a link or retweet something on Twitter, but it does help.

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I’m planning a series on the many ways of generating revenue from your online forums. Before I get into this, however, I wanted to start by asking you: how are you making money from your online forums?

Please go into detail. For example, if you work with advertising networks, say which ones. If you work with an ad market place of some sort, say which one. Basically, if you use a company where other forums can sign up or request more information to join for themselves, I want to know the name of that company.

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The act of blocking URLs from being posted on your community is a great tool and one that you should have in your arsenal. I’ve used it to block out spammers, affiliate links and sites that were determined to harm my community or attack my members. I have Censor Block in place, in order to stop the link before it is posted, so that the member can remove it from his or her post, rather than them having to see their post, already made, with the link censored in some way.

But, as with most administrative tools, it’s level of effectiveness depends on it’s use and, in practice, I’ve seen administrators do two things that you need to avoid.

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postrelease-synovatePostRelease, the forums-based advertising platform, and research company Synovate have released the results of a survey aimed at determining the influence of people who contribute to online forums, as opposed to those that do not. They polled 1,000 citizens aged 18 and older in the lower 48 United States from November 19 through 23.

They found that one in five Americans contribute to an online forum and that those that contribute to online forums are far more likely to help a friend or family member make a purchasing decision, recommend a specific product, post reviews and ratings online, share advice offline and online, share links about new products, take an active role in organizing an offline event and more. For the highlights and exact percentages, see the table below.

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Happy New Year! With 2009 in the books, I thought that it would be fun to take a look back at the most popular posts made here on ManagingCommunities.com in 2009. Here are the top 10:

1. Dealing with Suicide On Your Online Community or Forums: How You Can Help and Protect Everyone
A guide to dealing with a difficult subject and being prepared should you be faced with it.

2. “Yo, the Sun Don’t Shine Forever, But As Long As It’s Here, Then We Might As Well Shine Together”
I evoked Diddy to make a point about living in the moment.

3. Skimlinks Review: Get Credit for Sales Generated From Your Community
In-depth review of the affiliate sale generating service.

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