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Since this will be my last post of 2011, here at ManagingCommunities.com, I decided that we would take a look back at the 10 most read articles that were published here in the last 12 months.

It’s always fun when something that I write resonates so well that people pass it on and share it with their coworkers and friends. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word to make these articles popular.

What is the Best Forum Software? The Definitive Answer
The answer holds as true today as it did back at the start of March.

Only a Small Percentage of Your Customers Care Enough to Offer Feedback and You Should Listen
Of all of the things you can do to build your sales, caring is a very affordable option.

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Directions
Creative Commons License photo credit: mikecogh

In a perfect world, the members of your online community would contact you through the method that you direct them toward.

But, this isn’t a perfect world and you can’t expect that people will always do so. Going beyond that, you can’t really be angry if someone contacts you through a publicly available email address or instant messenger username. Well, you can, but I don’t know if there is any purpose.

Instead, what you should do is direct them back to the appropriate channel by contacting them through it. For example, I prefer the private message system on our community for most sensitive issues. If this is one of those instances, then I might respond to an email or instant message conversation and say that I am going to continue the conversation through the private message system and then do so immediately, answering their inquiry.

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Apples
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gonmi

Treat people as you want to be treated.

I apply the golden rule to a lot of different circumstances, including how I manage my communities, with respect to other communities.

I’ll give you a few examples.

It’s not unheard of that a member of a community, not necessarily mine, but any, would complain about another one that they have joined previously and participated in and/or been banned from.

That community is the worst. The administrator is a jerk and a megalomaniac. This community is so much better.

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The holidays represent a great opportunity to express appreciation for your community’s moderators and staff members.

My moderators are volunteers who help because they have enjoyed the community and want to help maintain and give back to the thing that they have benefited from. There may be some other benefits, as well, but that should be the core.

What I have done in the past is send a Happy Holidays card, taking the time to write some honest thoughts, explaining how I appreciate what they bring to the team. I have also included gift certificates for small amounts to Amazon.com.

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Happy Holidays!

Posted by Patrick on December 15th, 2011 in ManagingCommunities.com
Thank You 2
Creative Commons License photo credit: vistamommy

Thank you to everyone who has visited and support this site in the past year, by reading, commenting and sharing my writing with others. I really appreciate it.

I look forward to continuing to talk about and expand on the profession of community management and hopefully help take it to new places in 2012.

I hope that you have a great holiday season and a happy, healthy and successful 2011.

Patrick

Keep Calm and Manage Your Community

Posted by Patrick on December 12th, 2011 in Humor, Managing the Community
DSC_9494
Creative Commons License photo credit: M.M.Meeks

Like any management role, when you manage an online community, you’ll be faced with challenges on a regular basis. You’ll have to put out a lot of fires.

Some will be like blowing out a candle, but in other cases, a part of your house may be on fire. You then can choose one of two paths. Either you try to put out the fire or you let the house burn down.

Whatever the challenge is, as the administrator or manager, it is your responsibility to remain calm, think about the issue objectively and make the best decision that you can.

Back when Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter was the president of Def Jam, a song by Young Jeezy, one of his hottest artists, leaked to radio. An emergency meeting was called, but Mr. Carter didn’t see it as an emergency. The song, he said, was a club record and radio wouldn’t be so inclined to play it.

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the Greatest
Creative Commons License photo credit: achimh

Earlier this week, William Ruzvidzo invited me to answer a question on Quora, “What does it take to be a great community manager?” Mr. Rudvidzo is a Community Manager at 49Pixels.

I thought about this for a while and came up with the following.

A great community manager has experience. I think this is easily overlooked. People think community is brand new and that no one has experience. So they look for marketing or communications converts looking to make a switch.

I’ve seen a lot of crazy job listings for community manager. There was one that required email marketing experience and search marketing experience… but no community management experience. If the job requirements read that way, they don’t want a community manager, they want a marketer.

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Moderators can be a very important part of your online community. I know that mine are. I select them very carefully.

But, I thought it would be interesting and fun to throw some numbers behind this. So, I took KarateForums.com as an example.

KarateForums.com was launched on May 21, 2001 and has 12,424 registered members. From doing some research, it appears that, over this space of 10 years, 6 months and 2 weeks, there have been a grand total of 75 different people who have held a spot on the staff, give or take a couple.

That means that 0.603% of registered members have held a position on staff.

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