Community Members Do Not Care What the Community Manager’s Job Title Is (and “Manager” is Accurate)

Posted by Patrick on June 27th, 2013 in Managing the Community, Thinking
Creative Commons License photo credit: amsfrank

“Communities can’t be managed. They have to be nurtured/loved/served/encouraged/grown. Due to this, the community manager job title is bad. It should be something like community facilitator/friend/guide/helper/specialist/intermediary.”

Once in a long while, I’ll see something like this expressed. So it’s not really a popular thought, just one that pops up. Often from people who have spent little or no time as a community manager, but who are general marketers or social media professionals. It seems like one of those thoughts that occurs when you have a little too much time to think and begin over thinking a situation.

Without wanting to be disrespectful to anyone who has had it, I can’t help but feel that this is one of those echo chamber things. Something that sounds catchy, plays to a crowd and really means nothing at all. It’s a good example of focusing on the wrong thing. For one simple reason.

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Community is Freeing – Just Ask Kanye West

Posted by Patrick on June 24th, 2013 in Thinking

"Yeezus" by Kanye WestKanye West just released a new album on Tuesday. If you’re not a fan of Kanye West, you probably don’t know that. But if you are a fan of West, you undoubtedly do. And that’s sort of the point of this post.

West put out the album, titled “Yeezus,” on June 18 and did so while bucking a lot of traditional promotion patterns for a release of this magnitude. How so? Well, let’s run through the list of how he bucked traditional promotional patterns for a release of this magnitude.

Did he announce the release date in advance, allowing for a build up? No. A month and a half before it would be released, he sent out a vague tweet with the date. When he put the date out, it wasn’t even clear what the date meant. That was confirmed later.

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Community Managers and Sick Days

Posted by Patrick on June 20th, 2013 in Thinking

I’m sick. It’s certainly not the worse illness I’ve ever had, not by a long shot, but it includes a pretty annoying sore throat, which is probably one of my least favorite symptoms of being sick.

Anyway, if I wanted to, I could certainly force myself – mind over matter – to accomplish a lot today. But I am not going to do that because there really isn’t any reason to do so. Pretty much everything that I can accomplish today can wait a day or even a few days, until I’m feeling better.

I might poke around some projects as I am motivated to do so, but otherwise I am going to take it easy, get some rest, take some medicine, eat foods that make me feel better and drink plenty of liquids.

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10 Years Ago Today, Heidi Joined My Staff as a Moderator

Posted by Patrick on June 17th, 2013 in Managing Staff
Victoria Highway
Creative Commons License photo credit: huskyte77

It was 10 years ago today that Heidi, known on as ninjanurse, joined my staff on In honor of this occasion, I wanted to share with you the announcement that I posted on the community to mark this occasion and let that speak for itself. One note: a Sensei is what we call a moderator. Here is the announcement:


Thank you for visiting

It was on this day 10 years ago that Heidi joined the staff of 8 years, 1 month and 2 days of this she has spent as a Sensei. To put this in perspective, itself has been online for 12 years, 3 weeks and 6 days.

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Creative People: Listen to Your Community, But Don’t Let Them Tell You What to Do

Posted by Patrick on June 13th, 2013 in Interacting with Members

Robyn in "Go Kindergarten"I tell people to listen to their customers and their community. You should. But what I’ll never tell people is to do whatever their community tells them to do or, worse yet, orders them to do. This is especially true for creative professionals: musicians, singers, actors, directors, writers and performers of all kinds.

I was reminded of this today as I was reading comments on the Facebook page of Robyn. Recently, she collaborated with comedy rap trio The Lonely Island for “Go Kindergarten.” The group, which I’m a big fan of, just released the music video for this song, which also features hilarious cameos from Sean “Diddy” Combs and Paul Rudd. I’ll include an embed of it in the bottom of this article. Fair warning: it is for mature audiences only.

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Sharing Your Star is One of the Keys to Staying Relevant (a Lesson from Diddy)

Posted by Patrick on June 10th, 2013 in Community Cultivation, Interacting with Members

I always laugh when I see someone say that Sean “Diddy” Combs isn’t “relevant.” Whatever that means. As if time has passed him by and no one cares what he does.

I laugh at the irony because the self-important people that make these remarks are always vastly less “relevant” than Combs. Far less people have paid for anything they’ve done and far less people care about what they do now.

Combs is a master of long term relevance. Bad Boy Records, the music label he founded 20 years ago, is still around and is still producing hit music. Seemingly every other similarly sized, hip-hop focused label from 20 years ago is gone. That’s the way of the world. Success is generally fleeting.

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Are Online Forums That Don’t Make Any Money Worth Any Money?

Posted by Patrick on June 6th, 2013 in Generating Revenue
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tracy O

I was browsing Admin Talk when I saw a thread titled “$600 for a forum without revenue?” A member named Soliloquy mentioned that a forum they liked was up for sale for $600. It has over 70,000 posts, 4,000 threads and 1,500 members. But it does not make any money as there has been no attempt to monetize it.

Online communities can offer a lot of value to people. Providing them with answers, helping them with a challenge they are facing and building strong friendships. But if you should ever want to buy or sell a community, the discussion will come down to monetary value.

When you talk about buying or selling a website, which is what an online community usually is, there are often revenue based formulas that are thrown around, such as 12-24 times monthly revenue. While it is OK to consider these formulas and even use them as a vague guideline, you should not use them as a rigid standard. Often, they do not equate to a proper valuation of what a community is worth.

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Community Managers Know Where the Bodies Are Buried

Posted by Patrick on June 3rd, 2013 in How Should I Participate?
by hand 07.18.09 [199]
Creative Commons License photo credit: timlewisnm

The other day, I was looking at the Twitter stream of an acquaintance of mine and I clicked on the username of someone he was talking to. I opened that person’s website and I found myself thinking, “that sounds familiar.”

It took me a while to place it, but then I realized that the person was a spammer. Or, at least, they had spammed my community previously. They had joined in 2007 and posted a few spammy messages, even going so far as to encourage people to click ads on his site or commit click fraud, as it is commonly called. I removed the messages and banned the account.

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