For those of you that are lucky enough to be in Hong Kong for Siggraph Asia you will want to watch this short video to make sure you don’t miss a single connection while you are there. To get the most out of your time onsite, you will want to make sure that you have signed into the eventNetwork. If you don’t remember your login or password, send us an email to – or enter the email that you used to register for the conference with in the Retrieve Password field on the front page, then you can get started. We have been to hundreds of conferences and know how hard it is to make connections, especially if you are new to the industry. This video will give you some great tips on how to find people, how to send them a message to meet onsite and how to find people once you are back home. Click here to login to the eventNetwork.
I just finished rereading this important deck by Rachel Happe of The Community Roundtable, originally posted in 2011 and am reminded how much every single concept in the deck is as true today as it was then. Frankly, I am disappointed that, with so much quality information out there, people are still making major mistakes and setting unrealistic expectations of what an online Community will do for them and their organizations. There are hundreds of examples of people doing it right and when you look at Rachel’s well presented points, you may wonder, why are people still flailing, and failing?
Community is a group of people with unique shared values, behaviors and artifactsMy experience is in talking to people interesting in adding a Community, they fail to understand how to optimize for shared values and behaviors, in fact many times, they think that the Community is all about pushing content and getting people to talk, rather than helping them discover, uncover and celebrate the unique shared values and the diversity of behaviors and experiences that make up the collection of people involved. Whether it is 50 or 50,000 – considering these basic fundamentals gets lost.
Things that define Community: a common interest or context, a sense of shared purpose or fate and common set of needs.I would argue that in the beginning of an online community design, these concepts are discussed, yet soon fall to the wayside as the tactical deployment, design and launch of the community takes center stage. When a community is floundering, I look to see if the common interest or context is still clear, is it clear to new members, how is the sense of shared purpose communicated and is it still relevant six months or a year later – and has it been reviewed, probably not. The solution is simple. Look at the slides from The Community Roundtable, see how easy it seems to do it right – yet, why are so many communities having an identity crisis when, at one point, they actually discussed these critical design decisions, yet somehow have failed to realize any benefit from those decisions. You may not think about community all the time like we do, however, when you do, please make sure you consider that there really are only a few secrets to building a vibrant community according to The Community Roundtable, then ask yourself are you doing all of them to the best of your ability?
- Observe Your Audience
- Keep a Regular Schedule
- Be Welcoming
- Provide a Guide
- Be Valuable
- Be a Connector
- Bring Catnip
- Have Rules
- Lead from the Back
- Encourage Your Cheeseheads
- Ride The Waves
- Don’t Ignore
- Be Multi-model
- Protect the Fish
Is this you? Your team is getting ready to invest in a Business Social Network. You realize that this platform has the potential to become a major asset for your enterprise, and you want to set your Network apart from competitors’. You know all of the buzzwords. You know that you’re going to have to:You know that you’re going to have to provide an environment that holds consistent value for your community; one that keeps them coming back in, and you know that you’re going to need to continue feeding new and relevant content into your Business Social Network. It’s a lot to think about, and it seems like a lot to manage. In fact, building a Business Social Network can seem very overwhelming at first. That’s okay though, don’t worry so much about that.
- Engage Employees
- Engage Partners
- Engage Vendors
- Engage Customers
We’ve been there. We know what you’re facing and we know how to help.As we’ve built, launched and grown almost 400 online communities to date and observed the industry of online communities grow over the last ten years, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. We’ve seen what works, what doesn’t and what the consistent trends are that spell success, and what the consistent trends are that spell failure. We have collated some of our learning and here, we’ll present to you the pitfalls we’ve observed over the years in order to save you from doing the same. Whether you become a client of ours some day or not, we care about you and don’t want you to make these mistakes! Simply fill out the form below to download our resource guide, entitled: 5 Devastating Mistakes That Can Lead To Online Community Failure.
Data aging is an issue that we see quite frequently inside of our business communities. When you’re capturing data from your Professional Community system, how quickly are you able to analyze and act on that data? Do you have a process in place for reviewing and learning from your data? It is your data after all, and that’s why you have your own Community system in place instead of using public platforms. Too often, the analysis comes back from the data team a week or two after being pulled, and your insights are longer actionable, or if they are actionable, their potency is dramatically reduced. Read more about it in this article on Big Data by Amanda Reinhart, published on Business2Community.com. The article leans heavily on information pulled from SAP HANA. Enjoy!
Anymore, we’ve come to take for granted the lifecycle of business data. One system captures the particulars of a sales order, a trouble ticket or countless other information that business professionals need to do their job – only to have to wait while separate analytics systems on separate platforms make sense of the data. It’s just how it’s worked for as long as anyone can remember. A recent survey by IDC, in fact, found that over 40% of IT advisers required more than two days to prepare financial data for reporting. Amazingly, the same survey found that “the majority of business users found the slow and fragmented nature of their data systems to be perfectly OK.” [Read more…]
So you are going to be a Community Manager? Now what? Where do you start? How do you maximize the excitement and energy you have when beginning any new journey? I have been in several sessions the past few weeks with people that know that they need a Community and I’m there to help with the strategy, design, roll-out and what they should expect to invest in time and effort. Of course the question is always asked,
“How much time should we expect to spend managing the Community?” The answer is, “It depends.”I often use the analogy of designing and planting a new garden. You would not expect it to do well if you never watered or weeded it. You may choose to spend 15 minutes a week, or an hour a day. It depends on how much the garden and it’s beauty means to you. You can think about your online Community in much the same way, you will get out of it what you put in to it. That being said, it’s always good to see what other gardeners are doing, check out the yards in your neighborhood to see what’s working, what’s not, and mirror the best for yourself. So, when I think about where would I go looking for information on best Community Manager practices, of course I go to @TheCR and @RHappe for answers. And within 5 minutes of me tweeting today, I was pointed to several links that I want to share. These are fantastic for first timers and for those that think maybe they could be doing a better job with their existing Community. This was the first link they sent. This is a great deck that Rachel prepared and thankfully, Slideshare makes it easy for me to post it here for you to read:
There were several other links that @TheCR sent in a flurry of tweets after I posted my initial question. You can find more materials about Building Community Strategy here. I love this post called Your Journey as running a robust online Community truly is a journey.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about how you are managing your Community, please leave a comment below. If you’d like help in formulating a Community Strategy and think you are ready to have a conversation, let us know. We’re here to help you as sherpas along your journey.
Thanks again to @RHappe and @TheCR for all of the work they do to help organizations craft and manage their Communities, it really helps all of us.
In this talk from UCTV to the University of California Santa Barbara Technology Management Program students, CEO Mark Sylvester explains the history of the company, the problem the company set out to solve and how the Visual Matching Engine works in practice.