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No 1 - brown
Creative Commons License photo credit: kirstyhall

I tell people that numbers don’t matter to me. That sounds like a nice thing to say – quality over quantity and all that. Pretty words. People like to hear it. It’s easy to say, but can I really walk the walk? When it comes time to prove it, do I follow through?

One of the most important and obvious proving grounds for this belief is when you reach the point when you realize that you must ban a long time member, one of your most active posters or one of your top posters all-time.

You’ve given them every opportunity, but they try to walk all over you. They treat the community guidelines as though they are an option. They treat you and your staff disrespectfully. And it becomes apparent: you’re not banning them. They’re banning themselves. And so, you do it and you deal with the fallout.

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South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive 2011 is just around the corner: March 11 through 15 in Austin, Texas.

Not only will I be in town for the entire event, but I’m happy to say that I’ll be presenting “27 (Fun!) Ways to Kill Your Online Community” on March 13 at 5 PM in Salon K at the Hilton.

The inspiration for the session came from a post I wrote here, titled “10 (Super Fun!) Ways You Can Kill Your Online Community.”

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I’m tired of forum saviors.

Once in a while, someone pops on my radar (often times, because they e-mail me to introduce me to their product, website, whatever) who says, in one way of another, they are here to save forums. It’s not that it’s frequent or that they are particularly noteworthy, but when this happens, I always find myself cringing.

Forums don’t need you. They don’t need me. They don’t need anyone. And they don’t need saving.

Forums have survived this long and they are everywhere. The space is always growing and improving. It can always get better and I always love hearing about new ideas and companies who are interested in this space. Let me say that again: I love hearing about new ideas. Not about how great you are and how we’re lost without you.

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Selbstverständlichkeit
Creative Commons License photo credit: onnola

Generally speaking, if I do my job as a forum administrator, my members don’t have to see much of what I do behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. That is for me to worry about – not something for them to be concerned with.

I tend to believe that this is how most people approach the role: I have work to do and I’m doing it. I don’t care if people know about it or if people know how hard I work or if I get credit for it.

Consequentially, only a small percentage of people know even half of the responsibilities that someone has, when they run a structured online community. Sometimes, though, it’d be helpful if they did. If they knew what it took to run that community that they love, that they derive some benefit from.

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I am planning a series of articles on monetizing your online community. So, I wanted to ask you: what are you doing to generate revenue from your community? What specific programs, networks and services are you using?

I’d like to hear about things that you have tried in the last year, what has worked, what hasn’t and what you’ve learned. From the biggest money makers to the smallest. I want to know about everything that you use.

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Community Management is Common Sense

Posted by Patrick on February 10th, 2011 in Thinking
myth of homogeneity
Creative Commons License photo credit: wwworks

With some regularity, someone tells me that something I wrote here or something I said online or at an event, pertaining to online community, is common sense.

The funny thing about common sense is it’s only common if you have it. And many people don’t. Maybe they once did and then they forgot it. Reminders can be helpful.

Sometimes, when I speak at an event, someone will say that they didn’t get anything out of the talk, that it was too basic for them or it was common sense. It’s not a meaningful portion of the room, just one or two people.

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Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, a Chancellor Professor of Marketing and the Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has released the results of the center’s fourth annual study into the usage of social media by Inc. 500 companies.

The survey asked participants about seven particular types of social media: blogging, message/bulletin boards, online video, podcasting, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Foursquare.

The data presented in the study is compared to the numbers from the version released for the previous year, where available. Certain questions were not asked of Facebook, MySpace and Foursquare, specifically, in 2009.

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Eine Sache der Perspektive
Creative Commons License photo credit: Skley

People tell lies on your online community. They tell lies to get around your policies. They tell white lies that probably don’t hurt anyone. And then they tell lies that can.

Katie Baker, a contributor over at Gawker Media sports blog Deadspin, recently penned a fascinating piece on her experience using hockey-themed Usenet groups as a teenage girl in the late 90s. The title? “The Confessions Of A Former Adolescent Puck Tease: I Was Teenage Hockey Message Board Jailbait.” You had me at message board.

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