Two Years of “Managing Online Forums”

Posted by Patrick on April 28th, 2010 in Managing Online Forums (Book), Press

I only have a couple hours left on this day, April 28, but I wanted to write a post to thank everyone for their support of “Managing Online Forums” over the past two years. Today marks two years since it’s official publication date.

Thank you to everyone who has mentioned the book line and everyone who has reviewed it. I really appreciate every mention I receive. It’s like a special gift every time I get a Google Alert. So, thank you.

It’s a wonderful thing to see your knowledge and experience be well received and for it to help others. I care a lot about online community and I hope that comes through whenever I talk about it.

Thank you.

It’s Easier to Ask Forgiveness than it is to Get Permission? Not on Forums

Posted by Patrick on April 23rd, 2010 in How Should I Participate?
Creative Commons License photo credit:

With people who are looking to advertise something, specifically, there seems to sometimes be this notion that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.

Heck, maybe advertising on this community is alright and the post will be met with warm regards. Or, even if it’s not, maybe the staff will miss it and members won’t care. Worst case scenario, the post is removed, you get admonished, but you can still apologize and everyone will be cool. Right? … Right?

Read More

The Two Questions I Always Ask Remotely Hosted Forum Solutions

Posted by Patrick on April 19th, 2010 in Developing Your Community
Day 90 - Couch Potato
Creative Commons License photo credit: DaGoaty

Once in a while, I’ll talk to someone who works for a company that runs a remotely hosted forum solution. Sometimes they call themselves more than that, such as a social network, etc., but their core is usually formed around the discussion area of their platform.

Sometimes, they’ll want to talk about their service and want me to know about it. These services have their place and I always like meeting new people, especially people in the forum or community space. But, when considering their service, there are two important questions I always ask them.

Read More

Anonymity Will Always Challenge Productive Online Communities

Posted by Patrick on April 15th, 2010 in Interacting with Members, Managing the Community

The other day, I received this really nasty e-mail in my inbox. In it, the sender said all sorts of mean, nasty things about me and about people who manage online communities in general. “I have to say right off the bat that I don’t like you,” the e-mail began.

This person is, as far as I know, a total stranger. I don’t have any record or recollection of talking with someone with the e-mail address used, nor does the username part of the e-mail address ring any bells. The person signed only a first name to end the e-mail. By “her” own admission, she has only “followed [me] somewhat and read excerpts from [my] book and reviews on”

Read More

We’re Off the “Honest Sites” List! Oh No!

Posted by Patrick on April 10th, 2010 in Humor
Good old honest Abe
Creative Commons License photo credit: gaminrey

We had a member the other day who posted a thread promoting his eBook. It was your run of the mill advertisement, removed by a member of my staff.

The person who posted it responded to the staff member, telling them that they must not see the value in his eBook and that, more or less, his 95,000 affiliates can’t be wrong.

The member had actually posted promoting an eBook back in 2007 and had it removed. He hadn’t posted much of anything before posting again, promoting an eBook now, in 2010.

Read More

When You Reply to Spam, You Help the Spammers

Posted by Patrick on April 6th, 2010 in Interacting with Members
Sliced Spam
Creative Commons License photo credit: lovelihood

Recently, I had a conversation with a member who has, more than once or twice, made sarcastic replies to obvious spammers. He is a veteran member, so I expected more. After pointing this out to him a couple of times, and seeing it happen again, I decided that a more serious chat was necessary and that’s what inspired this post.

If at all possible, legitimate members shouldn’t reply to spam. Instead, they should ignore it or report it to a member of staff. Replying to spam has two negative effects.

Read More

April Fools’ Day 2010 on My Communities

Posted by Patrick on April 2nd, 2010 in Humor

April Fools’ Day affords many community administrators with the opportunity to have a little fun with their members and I am not one to pass that up. So, just like last year, some of my site’s played host to a prank in honor of the day. As always, the staff was in on it.

On, we announced our new focus on street tested martial arts. From this point forward, all new member accounts would be validated manually and only after the potential member had submitted a video of him or herself using their chosen martial art in the only arena that matters: the street.

Read More