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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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blog-world-expo-2009For the second consecutive year, I made the pilgrimage to the holy land that is Las Vegas for Blog World & New Media Expo, which ran from October 15-17.

Attending conferences like this is always a reunion of sorts where I hang out with people I already know and meet people face to face for the first time. Of course, there are plenty of new people, too, and opportunities to learn, share and have fun. I spoke on a panel and at a booth and had a book signing, as well.

One reason that this conference was different from every one that I have gone to before was because it was the first one attended by my brother Sean, a college student. It was great to have him with me during the event. For a majority of the time, I hung out with him and my friends Brandon Eley, Chrispian Burks, Stephan Segraves and Wayne Sutton.

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It’s that time of the year again! The SXSW 2010 PanelPicker has opened and, with it, 2,219 proposals are up for consideration for the Interactive portion of the conference. I am on 7 (yes, feel free to giggle) of these.

Online voting accounts for 30% of the decision making process (30% goes to the SXSW staff and 40% to an advisory board). Anyone can vote and registration is required. I would appreciate any and all consideration and, if you feel any of my sessions are worthy, your vote. I have spoken at South by Southwest twice, but both were solo book based presentations. I’ve never been on a panel or done a normal solo presentation. I’m hoping this is the year I can break in, with your help and I appreciate your support.

Here are the proposed sessions that I am a part of, along with a description and my fellow panelists on each (click on the title to vote):

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Back in June, I mentioned how I had submitted or was included in a few proposals for Blog World Expo 2009. Today, they released the schedule and I’m happy to say that I will be speaking at the even (I’ll be doing a book signing for “Managing Online Forums,” as well, but that is not yet scheduled).

On Friday, October 16 at 5 PM in Room 288, I’ll be participating in the “Social Media: What’s Not to Like” panel, which also features Amber Naslund; Director of Community at Radian6 and blogger at Altitude Branding, Wayne Sutton; Partner at OurHashtag and blogger at SocialWayne.com and Robert Scoble; Managing Director at Building43.com at Rackspace and blogger at Scobleizer.

Here is the description we came up with: We love social media. It’s helped us meet new people, to further our careers and even to speak at this conference. But, that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and roses, either. There are tactics and social trends that, frankly, worry us because we want social media to grow and for more people and companies to participate.

Beyond just worrying us, though, they can hurt your brand, scare people away and damage your relationships. From the mob mentality to self entitlement, we’ll tackle some of the most troubling and how you can avoid them.

And the takeaway: A better understanding of the social media landscape and how to participate with respect toward others, while also having a beneficial experience, both personally and professionally.

A big thank you to everyone at Blog World (Rick Calvert, Dave Cynkin, Jim Turner, others) for having me. It should be a ton of fun. If you want to come, you can use the discount code IFROGGYVIP for 20% off. I look forward to seeing you there.


Last year, I attended Blog World Expo (in it’s second year) for the first time (see my recap) and participated in two panels: “How to Deal with Trolls, Spammers & Sock Puppets” and “Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media.” It was a lot of fun and a great experience.

I’m happy to say that I’ll be back at this year’s edition, which runs from October 15-17 in Las Vegas. I’m on four panel proposals, so I am hoping to speak, as well as do another book signing this year, if they’ll have me. I’m working with them to promote the conference on the iFroggy Network. Here are the panel proposals that I’m on:

So, we’ll see if any of them get accepted, but it’ll be a fun event no matter what happens! On July 1, pricing will go up, so if you are interested in coming, now might be a good time to take a look. Hope to see you there.


In life, we meet people who dismiss resources that could help them as being for beginners or “newbies” or whatever, as if learning from said resources was somehow beneath them. Whether it be books, websites, conference talks or something else, it happens. Perhaps those who are brand new to a particular craft stand the most to gain from a resource, but that can be said for anything and does not invalidate the value that it can be provide to the experienced. Community management is no exception.

If someone has been doing it for a while and they have some great experience – that’s awesome. But, you don’t want that to make you thumb your nose at additional opportunities to learn in fear that, if you say you are learning from something, you think it makes you appear weak or not the expert you want to be seen as. Just the opposite is true.

I learn everyday, from all sorts of people. Members, my staff, my peers. Whatever. I want to keep learning and to keep getting better. I’m open to any opportunity for that. That does not make me weak or anything like that. I believe that it makes me smarter and stronger and that this is the way that a community administrator should be.

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In the past four months, since I posted my last book coverage update, I’ve been honored by all sorts of coverage for “Managing Online Forums” and I wanted to take a moment to share the interest that has been shown in this period and thank those that were behind it.

One of the biggest things to happen was the Slashdot review, written by JR Peck of GeekBook. It propelled the book into the top 1,500 books on Amazon.com and kept it in the top 10,000 for a number of days. The Slashdot review was mentioned on the AMACOM Books Blog.

There were also reviews by Michelle L. Rodriguez of Mequoda Daily, Rich Villalobos of Cisco Systems, Dr. Natalie T. Wood in the Journal of Consumer Marketing and Richard Millington of FeverBee. The book received it’s first review on Amazon.co.jp, thanks to Kushi-book-reviews and it’s first review on Amazon.fr, thanks to Dominique.

I participated in text based interviews with Commania, AdminQuest, Des Walsh dot Com (also posted on the International Blogging & New Media Association website and Mr. Walsh was kind enough to mention the book favorably on his blog, as well) and sparkBB. There were new podcast interviews on Podcaster Training and WordCast. A previously recorded interview on PerfCast was mentioned on the Splashpress Media blog.

I attended South by Southwest Interactive 2009 from March 13 through 17 and I gave a book reading (really a presentation around a theme in the book) called “The Art of Responding to Feedback from Your Community”. I also had a book signing at the conference’s bookstore. I spent the signing next to Thom Singer, the author of “Some Assembly Required” and “Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women,” who was kind enough to mention the book, and some kind words, on his blog.

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I’m a little belated in mentioning this, but the publication date of “Managing Online Forums” was April 28, 2008. That means that the book has been in circulation for over a year. Has it really been a year already?

The book was and is stocked nationwide at Barnes & Noble stores. It’s cracked the Amazon.com top 10,000 on numerous occasions. It has received a total of 43 reviews on the Amazon international network of stores, including 37 on Amazon.com. It is in at least 223 libraries. I’ve been overwhelmed and flattered by the praise that I’ve received not just on review sites, but also in e-mail, on forums and in person at conferences.

I’ve been blessed to have been interviewed countless times for online media, print and even television and to have had the book reviewed by many people of very different backgrounds and levels of experience. I am truly thankful for all of the support that I have received and I have a lot of people to thank.

It starts with the people who support me, my family and my friends, like Brandon Eley, Chrispian Burks, Jared Smith and Stephan Segraves, who gave me kind encouragement before everyone else knew I was working on it. My agent, Neil Salkind and everyone at AMACOM who worked on it, from editors to sales people.

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the book and/or invited me into their space to talk or for an interview. This includes Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Lee LeFever, Rick Villalobos, Jake McKee, Jim Kukral, Thomas Myer, MarketingSherpa, Des Walsh, Shai Coggins, Martin Reed, Michael Kimsal, Richard Millington, Geek Book, Michelle L. Rodriguez, Dr. Natalie T. Wood, Martin Kloos, Jessica Smith, Rob Diana, Kare Anderson, Manny Hernandez, ONLINE, Brad Williams, Heidi Miller, Travis Smith, Liz Fuller, eModeration, Dr. Jeffrey Barlow, Book News, Rico Mossesgeld, James Seligman, Ray Angel, Andy Staple, Vincent Lauria, David Berkowitz, Midwest Book Review, Ramona Iftode, Andrea Hermitt, Jonathan Bailey, Jason Bean , Jeff Henrichsen, James Fintel, Gary Pollock, Miranda Marquit, Ken Davidoff, Douglas Bell, Ethan Kwassman, Wendy Piersall, David Askaripour, Zack Urlocker, Douglas Hanna, Blake Thompson, John Wilkerson, Jim Turner, David Lewis, Jerry Stephens, Christa Casebeer, Joel Trigger, Jon Scheiber, Pete Carr, Chris Matthieu, Aric Cabot Hoek, Ahmad Jordan, Anne Marie Nichols, Marcquis P. Knox, Sniff Code, Ryan Zieno, Duncan Rawlinson, Edwin Vaughan, Danielle Williams, T. Hooper, Juana Pacheco, Brian A. Pomeranz, Simon Peter Lewis, Matt Whiting, P.J. Dixon, Mrs. K A Rowland, Catherine Archer, Kushi-book-reviews, L. Sutton, sparkBB, AdminQuest, Commania, BloggerTalks, Urban Lifestyle Report: New Media, Blog World Expo, Josh Klein, Performancing, lefora, LIVE Interviews Online, Bill Johnston, Website Magazine, Pete Prestipino, The Daily Advance, Talk Social News, Wayne Sutton, Kipp Bodnar, BlogTalkRadio, WordCast, Alejandro Reyes, The Tech Buzz, Scott Fox, WebProNews, Social Medialogy Conversations, Zane Safrit, New Media Pro.TV, Startup Spark, WordPress Weekly, Fitness Business Radio, WITN, Heather King, Meet the Experts, Inside Digital Media, Thom Singer, Lynn Terry, Esther Schindler, Blogs.com, Barbara Rozgonyi, Gwen Bell, Connie Bensen, Slashdot, Bradley Kelly and so many others.

And I can never thank everyone who has supported me or the book. But, if you have purchased the book, worked on the book, helped spread the word, stocked the book, liked it on FriendFeed, mentioned it on Twitter, bookmarked it on delicious or helped it to reach more people, from the smallest gesture to the largest, please accept my sincere thanks. I really appreciate it and the support means a lot to me.


At Blog World & New Media Expo 2008, I was lucky enough to be on a pair of panels, sharing the stage with some great people. My friend Chrispian Burks was kind enough to record the panels for me and, in November, I posted the video from the “Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media” panel.

The other panel was called “How to Deal with Trolls, Spammers & Sock Puppets.” Here is the panel description:

You just wrote the greatest blog post you’ve ever written. You researched the subject, spoke with sources, conducted interviews and completed a well thought out, well written article. You hit the post button and your baby is up. Here comes the praise! The first comment you receive? “You’re stupid, you’re ugly and you’re writing sucks.” Whether you call them trolls, haters or griefers, they’re out there, waiting to ruin your day, harm your community and taint your world.

Or maybe the first comment was something like, “Hey, nice article, check out mine!” Just like there are people who’d like to harm you, there are also people who’d like to cheaply benefit from your work and your audience. Spammers can do their own sort of damage.

But, neither of these two groups need harm you, if you know how to deal with them. This panel will give you the knowledge you need to tackle it.

I was invited to join this panel by Rick Calvert, Founder of Blog World Expo & New Media Expo. It also featured John Chow of John Chow dot Com, The Tech Zone and TTZ Media and Jeremy Schoemaker of ShoeMoney and ShoeMoney Media Group.

The panel was a lot of fun and a great experience, being that it was the first panel that I had ever been on. Afterwards, we had a great Q&A. Here’s the entire session:

In addition to Vimeo, the video is also on YouTube (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).


meet-me-sxswDuring the second week of March, I headed to Austin, Texas for South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) 2009. The conference itself ran from March 13 through March 17 and I arrived on March 12 and left on March 18. Since it is still fresh in my mind, as I did last year, I wanted to provide a recap of the experience. This is my epic and unnecessarily detailed and long (even boring by some standards) recap of the conference. This is the “WHY DID YOU WRITE ALL THAT? NOBODY CARES.” recap. It’s for me personally, to remember the event, as much as anything else, but if you want to read it, you are definitely welcome! Good luck.

March 12

Let’s start with this: I’m sitting in the Charlotte airport on wifi, waiting for my flight to Austin, and a guy walks by. He looks like a much older version of Kevin McCallister’s mean brother Buzz, from the movie “Home Alone,” which I loved as a kid. I tweeted this out at the time. The next day, after I’ve arrived in Austin, a girl at the convention center hands me a promo for a movie called “The 2 Bobs.”

I look at it and notice that this was the guy on my flight. And then the girl who hands it to me says that he was in “Home Alone.” So, it was the guy. His name is Devin Ratray and he was in town doing promo for the film.

On the flight from Charlotte to Austin, I sat next to Scott Brewster, the Director of Online Learning for The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and we got to know each other a bit, for the duration of the flight.

I got in town at around 5 PM and it took me an hour and a half or so to get to the hotel and get checked in and settled. After considering various dinner options, I saw a tweet by Paul Boag of Boagworld. I had hoped to meet up with him at some point, but he said he was having an informal dinner and I made my way over to his hotel lobby to meet up.

But, first, I went to the Austin Convention Center to pick up my badge for the conference. The line for the general attendee pickup was very, very long. About three quarters of the first floor – four people deep. But, the panelist registration had all of two people in line when I got there. Yes! So, I was able to pick my badge up very quickly, but not before chatting with Grant Robertson of Download Squad and meeting Victor Agreda of Weblogs, Inc.

When I made it to Paul’s hotel, I realized that I had only a hazy idea of what he looked like (basically, my best memory of his Twitter avatar, with him looking in a downward direction). But, I spotted him rather easily and joined him and a group that included Niqui Merret, Marcus Lillington, Phill Tran and John Morton. I actually ended out hanging out with Phill at various points of the conference, as well. All cool people. After dinner, they headed to Buffalo Billiards… I headed to bed.

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