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Human-Centered Aspects of Community Management


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April 25, 2012 San Francisco Online Community Meetup presentation by Marc Siegel of Simraceway

April 25, 2012 San Francisco Online Community Meetup presentation by Marc Siegel of Simraceway

Published in: Technology, Education

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  • 1. Human-centeredAspects of Community Management Marc Siegel
  • 2. My background Teachers and students Software developers Casual game players
  • 3. My current jobRace car simulation gameWinners of online races win niceprizes, i.e. trip to California to drive realrace cars I am currently hiring for • Customer Service Reps ($14-16/hr) • Associate Community Manager (mid-$40s / year)
  • 4. Humanize interactions• People come for content but stay for relationships• Address people by name or handle• Sign notes with your name• Provide robust profiles to help people relate: • Allow individuals to share about themselves free-form • Have system keep track of updates: posts, badges, etc • Highlight fresh or good profiles
  • 5. Communications• Be open, honest and transparent • If you don’t know or can’t share, simply say so • Squirrely answers erode trust • Don’t delete negative comments; instead respond with the best spin possible• Create feedback loops • Let the members have lots of influence in determining the community roadmap • Always be grateful for constructive criticism
  • 6. Make it easy for newcomers• Provide a “Visitor’s Center” • Name is not important; could be “Getting Started” or “About us” • Include the following: • Frequently Asked Questions • A guided tour • Membership requirements • Help/Search • Press releases • Links to notable people
  • 7. Volunteer leaders• Promote certain members to be volunteer leaders; choose them carefully• Delineate their responsibilities• Provide training if need be• Provide perqs for participating: • SWAG, early access to software, connections to key people, private group for discussion • Distinction online (icon with their screen name)• Monitor their continuing participation
  • 8. Roles within the community• Greeter – welcome newcomers• Host – facilitate the core activities• Content expert – provide compelling posts for other members• Editor – evaluate content• Cops – remove people/content that violate the community standards• Teacher – teach members to become leaders• Events Coordinator – plan and run events• Support – answer questions about the system• Manager – evaluate and support leaders From “Community Building” by Amy Jo Kim
  • 9. Stages of participation• Visitors: people without a persistent identity in the community Membership Ritual: letter, gift, event• Novices: new members who need to learn the ropes and be introduced into the community life• Regulars: established members that are comfortably participating in community life Leadership Ritual: selection, training, graduation• Leaders: volunteers, contractors and staff that keep the community running• Elders: long established regulars and leaders who share their knowledge, and pass along the culture From “Community Building” by Amy Jo Kim
  • 10. Encouraging participation• Seed discussion • Don’t open empty forums • People are reluctant to go first • People need examples to follow• Create some dummy questions/answers • If you can find helpful cohorts, great • Else create dummy accounts for just this purpose • Provide variety of use cases
  • 11. Encouraging more conversation• Answer in open ended ways • Even if you are providing a definitive answer, say “has this worked for other people”• Ask questions• Don’t’ respond immediately; allow the community to answer • Exception: if bad info has already been posted, respond quickly to avoid people chasing bad info
  • 12. Designing products via community• Throughout the design/build cycle, get feedback from customers• The better your product reflects customer desires, the more successful it will be• Examples: • Simple: Christmas theme at Mindjolt • More elaborate: continual back and forth between development manager and community at IBM
  • 13. Analytics trumps community inputRegardless of input, Shard 5 tests so muchbetter, so it will be used going forward
  • 14. Bonus question: Twitter• “LinkedIn is dead; the way to search for work is by Twitter”• Huh?