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My WordCamp Raleigh 2010 Recap

Posted by Patrick on August 30th, 2010 in ManagingCommunities.com, Press

In May, I spoke in Raleigh, North Carolina at WordCamp Raleigh and led a session titled “Building Community Around Your WordPress Blog.” That talk became the basis of the three part series I did here on building community around your blog.

The SitePoint Podcast, which I co-host, held it’s first ever live show at the conference. It all went really well and was a great experience. A big thank you to everyone who made it so.

If you were looking for or are interested in reading the full recap, it has now been posted over my on personal blog.

I was curious about this, so I thought I’d ask: what do you think are the most important events for online community professionals?

And I want to qualify that question a bit by saying I mean those who manage structured or hosted, on site communities, as opposed to those who maintain a Twitter profile, Facebook page, use social media listening tools, etc. People who do that (myself included) are managing a community, as well, just in a different context and I want to try to focus the answers down a bit.

Why am I asking? For one, I want to know and I’m curious. For two, I’m booking speaking engagements for this fall and winter (and 2011) and want to know where I should be. Please leave any and all answers in the comments. I appreciate it.

I was a member of staff on the SitePoint Forums for many years (from July 15, 2001 through September 30, 2008, to be exact) and I now co-host the SitePoint Podcast. SitePoint is one of the largest web development communities in the world and I am proud of my affiliation with it.

SitePoint is an example I cite with some regularity as they are an interesting blueprint to follow when it comes to leveraging the power of community for bigger things and revenue opportunities beyond just the normal stuff.

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Water department
Creative Commons License photo credit: EverJean

I want to expand on something that we discussed on the August 8 episode of the SitePoint Podcast, about the cease and desist and how it negatively impacts brands when used poorly, especially against fans.

Strong fan communities are gold to the companies, individuals, products and things that they are a fan of. You just can’t buy this sort of promotion and marketing. Why is it so special?

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Don't worry about reading this
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

On one of the communities that I run that offers free technical support, we had a member join and post a question in need of some assistance. In the post, they included some short hand for a vulgarity, so I removed the post, as per our normal procedure. They also had a signature violation of sorts. So, I dropped the member a note explaining both.

I noted that their post was also in bright red. This is not a violation and it’s fine if a member wants to use that color. But, it made the post harder to read. So, in the message, I thought I’d include a helpful suggestion that would allow the member to be more likely to receive help from others. I said:

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I’ve known Jim Kukral since June 2008 when I was booking interviews tied to my book. I shot him a note and asked if he’d have any interest in it or in having me on his show. Even though we’d never spoken before, he did and he eventually posted the first (and so far only) video review of the book on Amazon.com. That really meant a lot to me.

We’ve stayed in touch ever since. Now, Jim has a book of his own, titled “Attention! This Book Will Make You Money” and I’m happy to be able to support him and spread the word.

What follows is a guest post from Jim, with tips for engaging influencers within your community online (your site, the subject arena of your community, your area of expertise, etc.).

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Pyromaniac
Creative Commons License photo credit: Nikolai O.

A couple of days ago, on Twitter and Facebook, I remarked that “if I wasn’t a professional, I’d start “forum users from hell” and share the messages I get from some people.” In response, I received messages from 7 people supporting the idea (as well as two additional people liking the message on Facebook).

When I said it, it wasn’t necessarily a legitimate site idea I was considering, but when people responded as they did, I began to think about it. As I did, I thought I’d share my thought process here, in order to get feedback from you – people managing communities (veterans and new people alike) and those thinking about doing so. After you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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I have been busy booking speaking engagements for the late summer, fall and early winter and as some of them are coming up, I thought that I would share all of them with you, in case you have any opportunity to attend. I hope to have even more to announce soon.

Modern Media Man Summit (Atlanta, September 9-11)

I’ll be delivering a solo presentation, “Jack Bauer’s Guide to Managing Online Communities,” at Modern Media Man Summit at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia on September 10. The conference runs from September 9-11.

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Over the last few years, I’ve talked with a handful of companies about taking on some community or social media leadership role with them. Some of these names, you’d definitely know. Some of them you wouldn’t. But, I am always really appreciative when someone thinks of me and willing to listen because I am definitely open to the right opportunity.

The majority of opportunities aren’t right for me, but a few of them, I have considered more closely and spoke more with the people behind them. However, for various reasons, they didn’t end up being the right move (for me, for them or both). In these cases, there is at least one issue that comes up that prevents it from happening.

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