New Book: “Designing the Digital Experience: How to Use EXPERIENCE DESIGN Tools & Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love”

Posted by Patrick on October 27th, 2008 in Developing Your Community, Managing Online Forums (Book), Press

There’s a new book out called “Designing the Digital Experience: How To Use EXPERIENCE DESIGN Tools & Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love” and it was written by David Lee King. I met David a while back for something pertaining to my book and he was working on a book himself. He asked me to read a pre-release copy in consideration of advance praise.

I read the book and I enjoyed and was happy to provide him with the praise. Here is what I said:

When your aim is to provide a valuable product or service, it’s not just the product itself that counts, but the atmosphere that you have – the experience that you create. This is true of the offline world and of brick and mortar business, but it is also true online. The websites, communities, services, companies and individuals who provide their visitors with an enjoyable, memorable experience will have a distinct, noticeable advantage over those that do not. David Lee King’s “Designing the Digital Experience” presents solid ideas and strategies that can help you to gain that advantage.

If you have an interest in the subject, I’d definitely recommend picking up David’s book.

Video: My Presentation for Social Media Club Louisville: “The Value of Online Forums and How to Approach Them as a Marketer”

On October 21, I presented at a Social Media Club Louisville meeting via live video. It was actually the first time that I’ve ever done anything like this (I’ve given presentations, but never without actually being at the venue), but I thought it went well. The talk didn’t really have a title… but, I’m going to give it one now. I’ll call it “The Value of Online Forums and How to Approach Them as a Marketer.”

A big thank you to my friend Jason Falls who set it all up and emceed it. He recorded the video and posted it on the Social Media Club Louisville website, so I wanted to share it here. Please let me know what you think.

The Graduate Student Survival Blog Guest Post on Blogging For Dollars

Posted by Patrick on October 21st, 2008 in Generating Revenue, Press, Promoting Your Community

I wrote a guest post on The Graduate Student Survival Blog on the subject of blogging for dollars. The premise was to talk about how you could create a profitable blog in three months with a budget of $20. The blog is a part of the Albany Times Union website. Thanks to Brandon Mendelson for having me. Added to Alltop

Posted by Patrick on October 19th, 2008 in, Press

Alltop, self described as “an “online magazine rack” of popular topics,” has accepted into their Social Media and Leadership categories. Thanks to them!

Using Your Online Community to Help Others in Time of Crisis

Posted by Patrick on October 15th, 2008 in Managing the Community, Thinking

In honor of Blog Action Day, I’d like to talk about how you can use your online community to help people in a time of crisis. Healthy online communities, big or small, feature people united by some sort of common bond. Most often, it is subject based. But, there are sure to be other things that tie individual members to one another. This grouping of people can be powerful.

After the United States, my country, was attacked on September 11, 2001, I took what I had up on down and I put another page up, sharing my feelings on the event and asking for people to help how they could. has a copy of the page. I posted announcements on my sites and I linked my network bar back to that page.

When the tsunami hit Asia in December of 2004, I posted some similar announcements, such as this one at When Hurricane Katrina hit the southern United States, I did the same.

What impact did we have? How many dollars did we raise? $2? $5? $100? We didn’t keep track and I have no idea. But, that’s not really the point. The point is trying, the point is raising awareness and the point is that everything counts, regardless of how small.

The power of online community can be immense. But, even if you feel like your small community cannot help anyone, remind yourself that everything counts. You never know the impact that you can have.

I’m using examples of major catastrophes here and monetary donations, mainly. But, obviously, that is not the limit. If a well established and liked member who has greatly contributed to your community faces some sort of devastating hard ship, how can you help them? Not necessarily with money, but with ideas and with personal, genuine sentiment and compassion for them and their situation.

Have your door open to listen to people who have ideas. I get pitched charitable efforts by various people. Sometimes I share them, sometimes I don’t. We all have limitations. I know I do and I know I’d like to be much more charitable than I am. Money wise, anyway. I would like to think I am charitable with my time as I make an effort to help others and to share my knowledge.

Online community is, by and large, about relationship and relationships are what drive us to care and to help others. It’s a powerful thing and it can be used for good. In all sorts of ways. Good in helping people, good in giving people enjoyment, good in helping you to fulfill your dreams and, yes, charitable good, as well.

Live Video Appearance on The Tech Buzz Tonight at 8:30 PM ET!

Posted by Patrick on October 15th, 2008 in Managing Online Forums (Book), Press

Tonight at 8:30 PM ET, I’ll be appearing, live via video, on The Tech Buzz. It’s a popular, live streamed tech show on Ustream.TV. Check out the stream and, if you have time tonight, please stop by! We’ll be talking about the book, online community and more. Thanks.

Independent Blogging Conference at Greensboro Update: Robert Scoble Confirmed for My Session

Posted by Patrick on October 14th, 2008 in Managing Online Forums (Book), Press

When I posted about my session at the Independent Blogging Conference at Greensboro, I mentioned that I might be doing it with someone else. Well, that person is confirmed and it’s Robert Scoble. He is the Managing Director at FastCompany.TV and has his own Wikipedia page. I met him very, very briefly at both South by Southwest and Blog World Expo and I look forward to sharing the session with him.

Once again, the session is called “Promoting Your Blog Through Social Media,” and we will be highlighting some dos and don’ts of promoting your blog through five key forms of social media: blogging, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking and forums.

If The Site Doesn’t Give You a Signature, You Don’t Get One

Posted by Patrick on October 12th, 2008 in How Should I Participate?

You’ve seen them: folks who leave a comment on Facebook or on your blog. The comment itself may or may not be great, but for some reason… they’ve included some sort of signature link or mention of their website, company, organization – whatever. Here’s an example:

Hey, this was a great post. I definitely agree with what you are saying. I’ve been managing communities for many years and one of the challenges that you’ll face is definitely in the management of members who are looking to cause you some sort of harm. It takes patience and an understanding that you must protect the community as a whole.

Patrick O’Keefe
Author, “Managing Online Forums” –

This is not a comment I’d actually leave.

You only get a signature if the site allows you one. This will usually mean one of two things. Many communities allow you to set a signature in your profile and then have guidelines covering what you can and cannot have in it. In this case, it’s allowed, within the site’s guidelines. Place your signature in the specified area – and no where else.

The other instance would be, even if you don’t have a specified box, that the site’s terms or guidelines say it is OK to have a signature, the person running the site told you so or, at least, it is a generally accepted practice at the site.

In any other case, never assume that it is acceptable. Always ask first to see if it is OK and then respect what they say. Otherwise, you are using a space that is not yours to use in a manner that is not kosher. This sort of practice also has a spammy feel to it. Whenever I see someone do this, that is the first thing that comes to mind.

Many blogs allow you to post a name and URL and have your name linked and that is generous and should be utilized. But, that is where the line should be. Unless it is allowed or generally accepted, don’t take it upon yourself to insert your website or company name in your comment in a context that is not consistent with the site’s general community.

Note that I am not talking about a signature that is just your first name, etc. If you want to sign your posts or comments with your name – and only your name – then generally that is going to be OK.

But, I see some people who consider themselves to be social media savvy doing this and I wonder why. Especially with blog comments, it kind of concerns me. I did an interview a while back with a blogger and one of the founders of a somewhat well known social network for entrepreneurs (not going to name them) came and left a comment with links to their site, etc. It got deleted – and rightly so. The blogger that interviewed me told me that the person scolded them for removing the comment. Remarkable. And, yet, not unheard of.

After this happened, someone else at the company that I knew before she worked there, contacted me and said that the aforementioned founder would like to meet me and if it would be OK if they set up the introduction. I declined.

Going to Greensboro, North Carolina for ConvergeSouth and the Independent Blogging Conference at Greensboro

Posted by Patrick on October 10th, 2008 in Managing Online Forums (Book), Press

I will be traveling to Greensboro, North Carolina in just under a week to attend a pair of conferences, one of which I will be speaking at. The first is ConvergeSouth on October 17. I am not 100% sure what panels, etc. I will be attending, except to say that I will definitely be at my friend Jonathan Bailey’s session from 10:55 AM through 12:00 PM, titled “Preventing Plagiarism.” Beyond that, I’m going to play it by ear.

The next day, October 18, I will be at the Independent Blogging Conference at Greensboro, a conference put on by Kelby Carr and Dave Slusher to replace the cancelled BlogHer Greensboro. During the morning, I will be on the Opening Panel, to begin the day, at 9:00 AM.

I will also be hosting a session called “Promoting Your Blog Through Social Media,” where I (or we) will be highlighting some dos and don’ts of promoting your blog through five key forms of social media: blogging, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking and forums. I may be hosting the session with another person, but that is not finalized. I’ll post if and when I know for sure.

Later in the day, I’ll be attending a session put on by my friend Jared Smith, covering his online weather broadcasts.

In addition to meeting Jared (who I’ve known for around 8 years) and Jonathan for the first time, I also look forward to meeting Angela Connor, Michael Kimsal and more! If you’ll be attending, please let me know!

Book Coverage Update: Blog World Expo,, WebProNews and More!

Posted by Patrick on October 8th, 2008 in Managing Online Forums (Book), Press

Since it’s been a while since I did one of these, I have a lot of coverage to highlight.

I was asked by to come up with a list of my 10 favorite blogs. Understanding that I would have to leave a ton of people off, I sought out to pick 10 amazing blogs written by great people that I appreciate. I also wanted to have the selections showcase a wide array of my interests. You can check out the list on

I recently attended Blog World Expo where I had a book signing and a pair of panels, titled “How to Deal With Trolls, Spammers & Sock Puppets” and “Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media.”

The “Trolls” panel was covered by Miss604 and Gwen Bell, who wrote an incredibly nice comment about me. The “Disaster” panel was covered by Rich Brooks of flyte blog, Wendy Piersall of Sparkplugging, Social Studies Blog and Barbara Rozgonyi of Wired PR Works.

The panels were also mentioned by Michelle Evans of im.seeking.balance, Rick Beckr of Copywrite, Ink. in a comment on Chris Brogan’s blog and Mike Mueller. My attendance at the conference (and/or the book) was mentioned by Connie Bensen (the book was also mentioned by Jeff Chandler of PerfCast when he was interviewing Connie recently), Nicholas Chase of The Way To Success and Shai Coggins of Just Make Money Online.

I also met Lynn Terry of ClickNewz! and we talked for a while. She wrote about our meeting and conversation on her blog. While at Blog World Expo, I did video interviews with Abby Johnson of WebProNews and Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer TV. I’ve embedded both of these at the bottom of this post.

During and post-conference coverage aside, I was interviewed on the Blog World Expo podcast (along with Chris Alden, the Chairman and CEO of Six Apart), the E-Commerce Success Show with Scott FoxZane Safrit’s podcast, SocialMedialogy Conversations and New Media Pro.TV. I also did a text interview on the Blog World Expo blog.

“Managing Online Forums” received new reviews from eModeration, Shai Coggins of Just Make Money Online (Co-Founder and Vice President of Community at b5media), Travis Smith of Unvarnished (and Hop Studios), Liz Fuller of Business and Blogging, Heidi Miller of Talk It Up!, ONLINE magazine and Manny Hernandez, a Top 100 Reviewer, who also wrote about his review on Ning.

Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer highlighted the book in a discussion of Facebook group and brand page best practices, recommending it due to the coverage of user and content management issues.

Hoyt Mann of the Knowledge Management at the Information Technology Toolbox site wrote a nice feature on user guidelines, highlighting the book.

The phpBB Weekly podcast did a pair of segments on “Building a Successful Community,” inspired by the content of the book. They did so in their September 8 and October 5 episodes. It also received a mention on SuccessfoolTV.

It was highlighted in a press release put out by Circle of Seven Productions, a company specializing in book trailers and received a pair of mentions at vBulletin Setup, dealing with books about online communities and user guidelines.

I am overwhelmed by all of the interest and kind words. It’s truly appreciated. Thank you!