Creative Commons License photo credit: Lhopfan

I’ve been writing about online community management for a long time. I started writing my book in 2003, launched this blog in 2008 and published the book in that year, as well. Before the blog, I wrote about the topic sporadically elsewhere, including SitePoint.

I love community management and I care about the space, which is why I enjoy writing about it and sharing my experiences. I don’t really do consulting, but I always listen to people who want me to consult. Not long ago, I turned down a reasonable gig because the person I was consulting with wanted to own the ideas that I gave them. I could have used the money, but I objected and that was the end of that deal. My ideas are mine to share.

In writing about community management and sharing thoughts and conversations with those who read this blog, my ideas spread and beautiful things happen, that I am proud of. This builds community around my writing. I thought I would share a few of the things that I love to see.

When My Traffic Referrers Include Private Forums

I regularly view my traffic referrers to see who is linking to my posts. Sometimes, I notice that these referrers are private areas that I can’t access. Over the last few days, this includes visits to my posts about suicide threats and the troll hack. What does this mean? More often than not, they are discussing what I wrote in the staff member area of the community.

You might think that not being able to see the context would be frustrating and, sure, I wouldn’t mind seeing what they are saying. But, really, I love the fact that something I wrote is helping them to formulate policy. Those two posts deal with tough issues. Suicide is obviously the toughest of the two, by far. It is sensitive and challenging. With the troll hack, they may have a persistent violator that they are looking for a new way to deal with.

But, either way, they are referring to my writing to help them to deal with that issue. That’s really cool and very humbling.

When People Use My Guidelines

I’ve shared many guideline examples over the years and encourage people to take my guidelines and adjust them to work for their community. My guidelines are the result of years of experience – my experience and the experiences of others that I have learned from and borrowed from (with permission, where appropriate). The downloadable set of guidelines on the book website is an easy example of this.

Some of these usages are private, like staff guidelines. But, many of them are public, especially in the case of general user guidelines. I love to run across my guidelines, or snippets of them, out in the wild. I love this search, this search and this search. It is amazing to me that these communities have utilized my guidelines and I have helped them to better manage their communities and saved them time.

Successful Usage of My Strategies

Finally, and this speaks to the above mentioned items, I love seeing people who take my strategies and deploy them in a considerate way that leads to success. That’s the reason I share my ideas and strategies to begin with, because I want them to help other online community managers. I learn from others – I learn from their experience and their strategies. I hope that others can learn from me.

Thank you to everyone who reads my writing, shares it and uses it in their work. It means a lot to me.