Upcoming Speaking in Engagements in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Raleigh

Posted by Patrick on July 28th, 2011 in Managing Online Forums (Book),, Press

After taking a speaking break for a few months, it is time to get back on the road.

This fall, I am joining the Social Media Masters tour from Social Media Club. The conference series bills itself as “an advanced level conference for marketing and communications professionals.” It’ll hit five cities and I’ll be speaking at the Atlanta and Los Angeles and stops.

The Atlanta event is on August 26 and Los Angeles is on September 9. With the coupon code SMMPO30, you can received 30% the ticket price.

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The Real Power of Community (or “Celebrities ‘Deserve’ Their Followers”)

Posted by Patrick on July 25th, 2011 in Community Cultivation, How Should I Participate?

Sometimes, people get caught up in thoughts that are very limiting, due to their own jealousy, insecurities, a lack of understanding or something else.

One great example of this is a comment I once heard someone make. It was about a celebrity, I forget who. The person said that the celebrity didn’t “deserve” their followers.

The implication being that this person had been on Twitter for a long time, had “worked hard” for their followers and now this celebrity just showed up and in a day or so, they have tens of thousands of followers. This is bad, petty thinking.

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SitePoint Podcast Hosts Online Community Management Roundtable

I am one of the co-hosts on the SitePoint Podcast, a weekly podcast from SitePoint, one of the largest web development communities in the world.

Recently, I led a community management roundtable that spanned two episodes and featured Matthew Haughey, creator of MetaFilter; Sarah Hawk, Community Manager for SitePoint and Venessa Paech, Lead Community Manager for Community Engine, former Community Manager for Lonely Planet and co-organizer of Swarm Sydney, an upcoming community management conference.

The idea for the roundtable (as well as the selection of the people that would join me) came from SitePoint Program Director Lisa Lang.

We discussed topics like the evolving community manager job title, why forums matter, integrating various social media platforms with your standalone community, the gender diversity of the profession, the danger of community metrics and more. You can listen to the shows and read the transcripts on SitePoint, published as episodes 119 and 121.

Celebrating Staff Tenure on Your Community

Posted by Patrick on July 18th, 2011 in Managing Staff
Faculty and Staff Appreciation Party
Creative Commons License photo credit: ClatieK

Staff tenure is a great thing to track, acknowledge and celebrate on your community. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it truly is a case of “it’s the thought that counts,” that you cared enough to remember and mention it.

It’s simple enough to track. As part of the process of adding people to your team, maintain a document of some sort where you note the day that they officially joined your team. At the start of the year, I enter all of these dates into my calendar for the next 12 months so that I don’t have to constantly refer back to the document, but will instead be able to see when a particular staff member has reached X number of years on the staff, when it is getting close.

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Online Communities Are More Than Just Websites… But, They Are Still Websites

Posted by Patrick on July 14th, 2011 in Promoting Your Community

One of the more common questions I get asked is how you can grow your community and how you can get more activity. As with most things that require a great deal of work, people are looking for that magic, secret tip. But, that doesn’t exist because that’s not how it works.

Yes, there are some specific things that you can do that are directly related to online communities and may not be applicable in non-community spaces. While not all online communities may consider themselves to be a website (like communities built around a mobile app or a mailing list, for example – this post doesn’t really apply to them), it’s important to remember that, even though an online community is more than a website, it is still a website.

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Veteran Members of Your Community Have Greater Influence and Responsibility

Posted by Patrick on July 11th, 2011 in Interacting with Members, Managing the Community

There is a certain train of thought that suggests that as a member becomes well established on your community, that you should give them more rope when it comes to your guidelines and greater flexibility regarding them. In fact, it’s more than a train of thought, it’s a pressure.

As someone becomes more of a presence on your community, garners greater influence and becomes someone that you hopefully like a lot, the relationship can become more complicated than it was at the start, when they were new.

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What Does an Advanced Community Management Presentation Look Like?

Posted by Patrick on July 7th, 2011 in Thinking
Bakery selling baklava in Gaza
Creative Commons License photo credit: proisraeli

I am an active speaker on the topic of online community and how businesses and individuals can tap into the power of online community and grow and manage their own communities. I have logged 30 engagements thus far and have spoken at important digital conferences (like South by Southwest Interactive), to universities (like Northwestern and North Carolina State) and corporations (like FedEx).

Under that umbrella, I have delivered presentations or participated in panels on numerous topics. Everything from creating a positive environment on your forums and how to respond to feedback to ethical social media marketing and how to market your products to online forums and communities. Management, engagement, marketing and more.

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Building Community with LinkedIn Groups (and Cutting Down on Self-Promotion)

In May, at WordCamp Raleigh, I ran into Ray Mitchell, a Winston Salem, North Carolina-based web designer, who I had met previously. SixFour Web Design is his company.

Mr. Mitchell recently shared a blog post request for me Twitter: “Special tips for managing LinkedIn Groups to build real community vs. self-promotion.” Thank you for the suggestion.

Upfront, I have to say that my experience with LinkedIn Groups is somewhat limited. I am currently a member of 10 groups (make that 8 as I just left two of them while working on this article) and I don’t actively participate in, or even read, any of them. But, at the same time – a platform is a platform and LinkedIn Groups is not dissimilar from other platforms. Much of what applies to building community on LinkedIn Groups will also apply to building on other platforms, as well.

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