Community Doesn’t Require Comments (or “Lanyrd is Awesome”)

Posted by Patrick on November 29th, 2010 in Community Cultivation, Developing Your Community, Thinking

Lanyrd launched in September. I love Lanyrd. What is Lanyrd? It’s “the social conference directory.” That’s probably not enough. Lanyrd aims to help you “find great conferences to attend,” “to discover what’s hot while it’s on” and to “catch up on anything you missed.”

It’s built on top of Twitter (in so much as you need to share your Twitter details to unlock it’s true power) and it shows you what conferences the people you follow are attending, speaking at or talking about. As you may know, I speak a bit. Here’s my profile on Lanyrd.

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What I Am Thankful For On My Online Communities

Posted by Patrick on November 25th, 2010 in How Should I Participate?, Managing Staff, Managing the Community

In the United States, today is Thanksgiving, a holiday where, among other things, we give thanks for the great people, things and opportunities that we have in our lives. In line with that, I’d like to share a few things that I am thankful for on my communities. This isn’t an all-inclusive list by any means, just a few things that came to mind.

Attention to Detail from My Staff

When you are on my staff, I want you to be detail oriented. I want you to care about getting a situation right and to be willing to put in the time to make sure that all situations are handled appropriately.

From how you remove content, to how you document it, to how you speak to members and participate in public. Details matter and while perfection may be unattainable, that does not mean that you give up the pursuit.

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The Single Most Important Lesson You Can Learn From the Cooks Source Scandal

Posted by Patrick on November 22nd, 2010 in How Should I Participate?, Thinking

Have you heard about the Cooks Source copyright scandal? If you haven’t check out the write up at PlagiarismToday. In short, a small, free print magazine took an article from the internet, put it in their magazine and never asked for permission.

The author of the piece contacted the publication and asked for an apology in the magazine and on their Facebook page and a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. And that’s where it got interesting. The response from the editor of the magazine included this gem:

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The Power of Online (Taken Offline) Community on Display at Podcamp Topeka

Posted by Patrick on November 18th, 2010 in How Should I Participate?, Thinking

When I learned that I would be delivering my first keynote presentation at Podcamp Topeka earlier this month, I was excited. But, what got me more excited was how well the people behind the event were treating me. I really appreciated their faith and investment in me. I liked David Lee King’s vision for the event, as well.

So, I decided to go crazy for them and do something that was not part of my deal with them and that most speakers don’t do – something that I myself had never done, either, because no one had ever had put this level of resources into me before now. I decided to invest an incredible amount of time into bringing people to the event.

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Friendly Reminder: You’re Doing it Wrong

Posted by Patrick on November 15th, 2010 in Thinking

Back in January of 2009, Chris Brogan published “You’re Doing It Wrong.” It was a short, but eloquent post and one that I refer to with some regularity. Chris’ point was that a lot of people will tell you to do something this way or that way and insist it is an absolute – the only choice or, at least, the grossly superior one. And that’s that. One problem: it’s not.

When I write here at, I am dispensing some advice from my experience, drawing from real situations that I deal with.

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ComBlu Report Details the Online Community Tools Used by Major Brands (Free Download)

Posted by Patrick on November 11th, 2010 in Community Cultivation, Developing Your Community, Research

Social engagement firm ComBlu has just released “The State of Online Branded Communities,” a new 52-page report that you can download for free on their website.

It includes data from 241 online communities collectively owned by 78 corporations, and the bulk of the report discusses what tools they use and what “best practices” they follow. This data is then drilled down to specific industries and corporations are given a rating based on how well they are supposedly engaging through their online communities.

Overall, ComBlu did a great job collecting and compiling this data and offering it to us to consume – and for free. They certainly could have charged for the report and I would have never seen it unless they sent me a copy, so the fact that they are providing it free of charge makes it a must-download for anyone in the community space.

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How to Encourage Your Members to Report Bad Content or Content That Violates Your Guidelines

Posted by Patrick on November 8th, 2010 in Interacting with Members, Managing the Community
danger! danger!
Creative Commons License photo credit: mararie

Chances are that your community has guidelines of some sort and you do your best to read all or a selection (depending on the size of your community) of the posts that are made on your site. The guidelines need to be respected and any post that you are aware of, that fails to do so, receives the appropriate attention from you.

But, even so, sometimes you miss things. It’s only natural and the bigger your community gets, generally speaking, the more likely it is to happen. And, if a member sees a post that has a violation, you probably don’t want them to respond to it and bring more attention to it.

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Online Community is About Culture (or “Win at Culture, Not Numbers!”)

Posted by Patrick on November 4th, 2010 in Community Cultivation, Thinking
Flashing Lights
Creative Commons License photo credit: jurvetson

Allow me to get on my Kanye West for a second. I’m a soldier of culture. In online communities. I believe that, to create a really beneficial, unique online community, what you win at – more than anything – is culture.

One thing I hear people say with some regularity is “I’ll never be the largest community in my niche” or “There is this well established community in the space I want to enter – I’ll never catch them!” or “I’ve put in so much time, but we’re still not as active as XYZ!”

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Capcom’s Director of Community, Seth Killian Interviewed by Nintendo Power

Posted by Patrick on November 1st, 2010 in Community Cultivation
Nintendo Power magazine (July/Aug 1989)
Creative Commons License photo credit: bochalla

If you’re reading this site, chances are that you know that I do something with online communities. You might know that I’ve been managing online communities for 10 years and that I wrote a book about it. In short, online community is a passion for me.

But, long before I managed any online communities, I was a Nintendo Power subscriber. I don’t remember exactly how long I subscribed, but it was something like volume 20 through 80, which according to The Video Game Museum, would take us from January 1991 (when I was 7) through January 1996.

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