Maybe it’s My Fault

Posted by Patrick on December 30th, 2010 in Thinking
the Greatest
Creative Commons License photo credit: achimh

Maybe it’s my fault.

Maybe I led you to believe it was easy, when it wasn’t.

Maybe I made you think my success started at launch and not in the trenches.

Maybe I made you think that every community I managed was a success.

That my experience was built on numbers and not people.

Maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength, that my pain was my motivation.

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My Generally Laid Back Approach to Guideline Violations

Posted by Patrick on December 27th, 2010 in Managing Staff, Managing the Community
Recliner Free Throw
Creative Commons License photo credit: swanksalot

I take our user guidelines very seriously. If a post violates our guidelines, it is removed, documented privately and the member is contacted. So, when I say I am laid back about how I approach guideline violations, that is not what I mean.

What I mean is that guideline violations aren’t, in and of themselves, something that demands your immediate attention. I try not to create a sense of panic. I also try not to let them disrupt me from my normal routine or whatever I am doing.

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Inflammatory Name Substitution: What it is and Why it Matters

Posted by Patrick on December 23rd, 2010 in Managing the Community

Do you know when people substitute a name for something or someone, calling it something that it is not officially called or is not the actual name of the thing, usually meant in a sarcastic or derogatory way?

“Micro$oft” or “M$” is a popular example. I’m a big fan of Sean “Diddy” Combs and the New York Yankees and have heard people call both all sorts of names, derived from their actual name or stage name. You could say that it is name calling.

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Many of the Greatest People I Know, and a Majority of My Friends, I Met on Forums

Posted by Patrick on December 20th, 2010 in Thinking

I don’t throw around the word friend lightly. If I meet you at a conference and we talk for 20 minutes, I don’t refer to you as my friend. You’re an acquaintance or something that I have met.

That’s nothing personal – it’s out of respect for you as much as myself. Nothing against people who would call that person a friend, I just try to limit my use of the term.

And there are certainly different tiers of friendship. From my best and closest friends, to people I am developing a friendship with to others that I may have drifted away from. They are all my friends.

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Happy Holidays!

Posted by Patrick on December 16th, 2010 in
Breakfast in a Bag
Creative Commons License photo credit: pheezy

We’re nearing the end of 2010 and so I wanted to take a moment to wish you a happy holiday season and a happy, healthy and successful 2011!

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported this site, my book and me this year. This includes everyone who read the site, shares the articles, comments thoughtfully and appreciates what I do here. I really appreciate you.

I look forward to continuing to spread the word of online community in the new year, both online and offline. I hope that what I have to say and what I share is useful to you and helps you to manage your community, small or large, profit or non-profit, corporation or individual. It’s all community.

Thank you.



Don’t Ban People From Your Forums, They Can Just Come Back

Posted by Patrick on December 13th, 2010 in Managing the Community
Creative Commons License photo credit: onnola

I co-host the Copyright 2.0 Show every Wednesday with Jonathan Bailey and we talk a lot about how you enforce copyright on the web, to ensure that creator or owner rights are respected.

What happens, in many of these cases, is that people are taken offline or removed from a certain situation, but they return to commit the same offenses under a different name.

One of the more recent stories that triggered this type of situation was the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) domain seizures where one of the websites that used a domain name that was seized came back online by changing to a new domain name.

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Online Communities and Forums Can Be So Draconian! (or “The Meaning of Draconian”)

Posted by Patrick on December 9th, 2010 in Humor, Managing the Community

Have you managed an online community for three or more years? Does it have 50,000 or more posts? Do you have guidelines of substance that you fairly and evenly apply to contributions?

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, there is a fair chance that someone has lobbed the word “Draconian” in your direction, in reply to a contribution being edited or removed.

I have to be honest. Until recently, I did not fully understand the definition of this word. I had always thought that it meant that they thought I was being unfair or too strict.

It turns out: I was right. Just not to the extent I had thought.

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Using rel=”nofollow” Has Nothing to Do with How Serious You Are About Spam (or “Why Your Community Shouldn’t Be a Search Engine Black Hole”)

Posted by Patrick on December 6th, 2010 in Managing the Community, Thinking
Spam & Bacon
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wyscan

More than 5 years ago, rel=”nofollow” was introduced by Google as a way to limit the impact of blog comment spam on their index (and the indexes of other search engines that agreed to support the initiative). And (seemingly) every meaningful blog platform or software bundle jumped on board, making it a standard feature for their users.

Essentially, if you add rel=”nofollow” within the HTML <a> tag for a given link, you are telling search engines not to give that website credit for the link and for it not to affect that page’s ranking in the given search engine’s index. It can be a little more complicated than that, but that is a basic explanation.

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“Managing Online Forums” Downloadable Templates Translated to German (More Translations Wanted)

Posted by Patrick on December 2nd, 2010 in Managing Online Forums (Book)

A few weeks ago, Udo Telaar contacted me and said that he had read “Managing Online Forums” and asked if it would be alright if he distributed a German translation of the downloadable templates I offer on the book’s website.

In short, I loved the idea and we worked together to ensure that they were properly translated and that all details were taken care of. Once we were both happy with it, he posted them on his blog and, at this moment, that is the only place that you can find them. I’ll add them to the book website soon, as well, but wanted to give him the exclusive for a little while. Thanks again, Udo!

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