Please Vote for Our SXSW 2016 IdeaSouth by Southwest is a great event. Well-organized with a seemingly limitless number of experiences available to you. It’s a lot of fun to speak at, and I’m hoping to do so again in 2016.

This year, I teamed up with Scott Moore on a proposal. Scott is an online community veteran that I respect. His knowledge is insanely deep, based on his 19 years in the space.

We want to talk about managing online community volunteer programs. During the reddit issues this summer, the one issue that stood out, above all others, was how they were treating their volunteer moderators. Long term neglect led to a showdown where the moderators effectively shut down many of the most active communities on the platform.

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PatreonI see Patreon as a really interesting community platform. The service allows creators to receive financial support directly from those who appreciate their work. It’s become really popular and is used by all types of creators: YouTubers, musicians, cartoonists, writers, podcasters, artists, photographers, filmmakers and more.

The longer I thought about it, the more I decided it would be fun to experiment with it for my work here.

If you look around at this site, you’ll see it really isn’t built for consulting. Even when I receive those emails, once in a while, I usually decline or recommend a person for them to talk to. Consulting isn’t the point of my work. I view myself, first and foremost, as a resource for fellow practitioners. I love to offer whatever support I can to professionals in this space, and those aspiring to be one.

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SXSW 2015I just returned from South by Southwest, and I had such a great time. SXSW is a wonderful event. This was my seventh year attending and my sixth speaking. It’s always a pleasure.

The people behind the event do a great job. I must have interacted with 100 or more staff and volunteers during my week in Austin and the lead-up to it. They were all terrific. Fantastic attitudes. Everyone behind the scenes deserves a ton of credit. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s SXSW happen – and thank you for having me again.

During my time at the conference, I did a lot of things. I led a panel discussion. I attended a couple of sessions. I walked the trade show floor. I saw a few comedy shows. I went to some meetups and parties, as well as connecting with specific individuals. Much of it had to do with community work, and so I thought I’d post a recap of all of the community-related things I did at SXSW 2015.

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SXSW Interactive 2015In a little over two weeks, I’ll hop on a plane bound for Austin, Texas, on my way to South by Southwest Interactive. Are you making the trip?

It’ll be my seventh year attending the conference – and I’m very happy to be speaking again this year. It’s a really fun, interesting and challenging event to speak at.

I’m leading “How CNN and The New York Times Moderate Comments.” Bassey Etim of The New York Times and David Williams from CNN will be joining me. Respectively, they lead comment moderation at those organizations. The basis for our talk is the interview I conducted with them and published here back in July.

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Community Manager Appreciation DayToday marks the sixth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD).

Originally created by Jeremiah Owyang, CMAD encourages companies and community members to express their gratitude to those responsible for the communities that they enjoy and receive value from.

It’s being celebrated online and in-person all around the world by many different groups and organizations. But the center of the festivities is the 24 hour live stream managed by My Community Manager. It began a few hours ago (at midnight GMT -5) and will continue until midnight tonight! Even if you miss a session, you can watch it later as it will be recorded and available immediately after.

Sherrie Rohde and Jonathan Brewer were kind enough to invite me to organize a session (and I also received an invitation from one of the panel organizers), but unfortunately, I had to decline. This is family time for me. I’m really sorry to have to miss this great event!

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Happy Holidays!

Posted by Patrick on December 15th, 2014 in

It’s that time of the year again. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and a great 2015.

2014 has been a great year for our profession, and I’m grateful for that. I am also thankful for all of the fantastic professionals I bump into on a regular basis because of my writing and speaking. It’s a special feeling when people find value in my work. I love to be able to help people in this space.

If you have sent me a kind word, left a thoughtful comment, shared my work or simply appreciated something I’ve shared, I’d like to thank you because your support motivates me. I have a deep respect for the work that we do as community professionals. I believe it is important work that shouldn’t be undervalued.

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the-circleHaving been in this space for so long, I am fortunate to know many great minds that work within it. I enjoy the interactions that I have with them and have been thinking recently about how I could showcase those conversations here. I came up with something I am referring to as The Circle.

My hope is that it will become a regular feature, fueled by your questions. I will select questions and then ask great community professionals to answer them, instead of just trying to answer them myself. It’ll be a different group of people each time. A lot of these professionals will not be people who blog regularly or write regularly on the profession. They’ll be people I know who do the work and understand this space as well as anyone.

It’ll be fun to add these other perspectives into the blog. I look forward to learning from them. But to get started, I wanted to introduce the concept and put a call out for questions. What would you like me to ask? Please leave me a comment or, if you’d like to remain anonymous, send me an email. Thanks.

Please Vote for Our SXSW Interactive 2015 ProposalAbout a month ago, I published an interview with Bassey Etim of The New York Times and David Williams of CNN. They lead comment moderation at their respective companies. I really enjoyed our conversation and couldn’t help but feel that it would make a wonderful fireside chat-style talk in-person at an event.

Between the 3 of us, we have more than 30 years of moderation experience. Bassey and David deal with a volume of comments that few can fathom. Not just that, but they work in an environment that is highly charged, in a space where people expect to say what is on their mind.

It was fascinating to hear about the moderation philosophy differences at play between CNN and The New York Times. Though each has taken a different path, they have both been successful. I’d love to explore those differences in-person, while drawing from my own deep experience, and have an advanced, high-level conversation about comment moderation.

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Patrick O'KeefeFor a long time, I have been quietly working toward simplifying my life and cutting away most of my commitments. I was juggling so many things that it began to feel stifling. I wanted to do something else, but I couldn’t. Now that I have successfully cleared my plate, I can talk about why I did it.

I wanted to open myself up to tackling my next big work. Whatever that may be. I have some ideas. Most of them involve some form of entrepreneurship. Writing a book, launching a start-up, etc.

But I am also really intrigued by the idea of joining a company. Over the years, I have been contacted about numerous opportunities, but I have always turned them down. I am at a point in my life where I am really hungry for change and a new challenge. I am more open to taking a role at a company than I have ever been before. If you have ever been interested in hiring me, now is a great time to get in touch.

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Monetizing Online ForumsMonetizing Online Forums was released two years ago. The ebook, offered for free thanks to Skimlinks, has now been downloaded over 25,000 times (25,382 to be exact).

My home is about to be hit really hard by Hurricane Arthur, but I didn’t want to let this milestone slip by. I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has downloaded the book and spread the word about it. In a sea of free ebooks, I am grateful that you gave it a chance.

I would like to thank Alicia Navarro and Joe Stepniewski at Skimlinks for their support, as well as Alicia, Ted Sindzinski and Todd Garland for their outstanding contributions to the work. Without you, the book would have been based on my knowledge alone – and it would have fallen short. I would also like to recognize Barbara Somlai for her outstanding cover design, which I still love to this day.

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