Community Gone Wild


         Esther Schindler
 Writer. Editor. Community Gal.
        Also Chocoholic.
Who the Heck is Esther?

• I was online before online was cool
  – 72241,1417: CompuServe sysop in 1990
  – Chief sysop fo...
A 3-Second Test of Online
          Community Readiness
• A magazine reader posts a community
  message critical of an art...
Whyever would you want an
                online community?

•   Reader engagement
•   Editorial participation
•   Online ...
Reader engagement
• People want
  to share
  stories and
  experiences
• Rating
  content has
  value (to
  them at least)...
Editorial community
                           participation
– Opportunity for
  interactive
  “letters to the
  editor”
 ...
Online ad revenue

• Some
  advertisers
  are reluctant
  to buy ads
  against
  community
  sites



                    ...
Brand support and reader
                   loyalty
• Community
  helps readers
  feel that they’re
  part of the
  public...
Sell something

• Upsell to conferences, products,
  subscriptions
• Sell access to each other




                       ...
So why did you want a
             community again?
• The only real reason: to encourage
  conversations.
• And to make mo...
What’s Your ROI?

• Your ROI depends on your purpose in
  creating the community
• We can come up with metrics
  – But the...
My Personal Measure of
                    ROI
– Community members have an off-topic
  conversation about their first car,...
What’s Community,
                  Anyway?
• Cheers: Where
  Everybody Knows
  Your Name
• “User contributed
  content”
•...
The Lesson

• “Understand the business you're in.
  Social media are not a silver bullet
  solution for improbable busines...
Types of community

• Discussion forums
• Blogs
• Article comments
• Voting, rating, contests, and community
  without tal...
Discussion Forums

• The round table
• Opinions equally shared
• The person paying the check controls
  the venue
Blogs

• One person at the podium
• Others can comment or respond but the
  blogger controls the conversation
• We used to...
Article Comments

• Graffiti can be
  beautiful. It can
  be meaningful.
• But it is rarely
  interactive.
Voting, rating, contests

• Community without talking
• Social media is community with voting
  privileges. Well, sometime...
Where the community is
              the content
• Members upload photos
  of their own projects
Intersection with social
                   media
• Are you better off with a Facebook fan
  club, a LinkedIn group, a twi...
It’s not one-or-the-other.

• Even when you have your own
  community, use social media.
• Use external community and soci...
When not to have an
              online community
• You want to get it started and then
  ignore it.
• Nobody’s in charge...
Who should run the show?




The person who wants to.
The Community Manager

• You need one.
• No, I mean it. You really need one.
• The bartender and the bouncer
Choosing the Community
                Manager
• Not the overworked magazine editor for
  whom this is yet another task
A unique editorial
                   challenge
• Journalists are trained as observers.
  – They want to report, not chat....
Technology

• What to look for in the software
  – Software features
     • Whatever makes it easy to contribute
     • Wh...
Budget

• Price of the “community” software
  – Free doesn’t suck.
  – What do the vendors give you?
  – Web site integrat...
Making a Success of An
            Online Community
• Editorial involvement
• Getting people talking
• Answering the tough...
Editorial involvement

• Readers want access to you.
  – Answer their comments and questions!
• Listen and interact
  – Pa...
Getting people talking

• The participant : lurker ratio
• The welcome wagon
• Asking leading questions
  – People love to...
The Three-Beer Questions

•   Anonymity
•   Require registration to participate?
•   Managing the culture
•   The rules of...
A 3-Second Test of Online
          Community Readiness
• Remember the offensive comment
  posted by the reader?
• What di...
Resources
• Online community report:
  www.onlinecommunityreport.com
• e-Mint, Association of Online
  Community Professio...
Thank You

Esther Schindler
esther@bitranch.com
twitter.com/estherschindler
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Starting an Online Community

1,459 views
1,410 views

Published on

Your site or publication wants to create online community to encourage more user engagement and drive more web traffic. Cool. But how do you do that? Here's the basics.
Presentation given at the Niche Digital conference, September 2009.

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
0 Comments
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,459
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
22
Comments
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Starting an Online Community

    1. 1. Community Gone Wild Esther Schindler Writer. Editor. Community Gal. Also Chocoholic.
    2. 2. Who the Heck is Esther? • I was online before online was cool – 72241,1417: CompuServe sysop in 1990 – Chief sysop for AT&T/ZDNet Interchange – Community manager for CIO.com, ZD’s DevSource.com and many more • Oh yeah. I write and edit too. – Most recently senior online editor at CIO.com
    3. 3. A 3-Second Test of Online Community Readiness • A magazine reader posts a community message critical of an article or its author. • Or slamming a key advertiser. • What do you do? – How do you respond? Are the answers different for the two scenarios? – I’ll give my answer before the end.
    4. 4. Whyever would you want an online community? • Reader engagement • Editorial participation • Online ad revenue • Brand support and reader loyalty • Sell something
    5. 5. Reader engagement • People want to share stories and experiences • Rating content has value (to them at least) from Olive Magazine (BBC)
    6. 6. Editorial community participation – Opportunity for interactive “letters to the editor” • You’ll get honest feedback • (Oh boy is it honest.) – Also find out what floats their boats CIO.com blog post (by me) A Pointed Question from a Job Applicant: How Would You Answer This Question?
    7. 7. Online ad revenue • Some advertisers are reluctant to buy ads against community sites SQAforums
    8. 8. Brand support and reader loyalty • Community helps readers feel that they’re part of the publication • Their contributions matter From Threads Magazine (Taunton)
    9. 9. Sell something • Upsell to conferences, products, subscriptions • Sell access to each other CIO Council (CIO Magazine)
    10. 10. So why did you want a community again? • The only real reason: to encourage conversations. • And to make money (somehow) by doing so.
    11. 11. What’s Your ROI? • Your ROI depends on your purpose in creating the community • We can come up with metrics – But they’re rarely meaningful – What’s the ROI of customer service?
    12. 12. My Personal Measure of ROI – Community members have an off-topic conversation about their first car, their first computer, or the first quilt they made – Community members get together In Real Life
    13. 13. What’s Community, Anyway? • Cheers: Where Everybody Knows Your Name • “User contributed content” • Like minds: people with shared interest having a conversation
    14. 14. The Lesson • “Understand the business you're in. Social media are not a silver bullet solution for improbable business models, scattershot marketing or the everyday blocking and tackling of satisfying customer needs.” --Ryck Lent
    15. 15. Types of community • Discussion forums • Blogs • Article comments • Voting, rating, contests, and community without talking • Where the user contributions is the community
    16. 16. Discussion Forums • The round table • Opinions equally shared • The person paying the check controls the venue
    17. 17. Blogs • One person at the podium • Others can comment or respond but the blogger controls the conversation • We used to call these “opinion columns.”
    18. 18. Article Comments • Graffiti can be beautiful. It can be meaningful. • But it is rarely interactive.
    19. 19. Voting, rating, contests • Community without talking • Social media is community with voting privileges. Well, sometimes.
    20. 20. Where the community is the content • Members upload photos of their own projects
    21. 21. Intersection with social media • Are you better off with a Facebook fan club, a LinkedIn group, a twitter account? • The answer depends on your commitment to the conversation and how much control you want.
    22. 22. It’s not one-or-the-other. • Even when you have your own community, use social media. • Use external community and social media sites to support your online presence. – Are your events listed on Upcoming.org or LinkedIn Events? – Are these slides on slideshare? – Some pubs treat Twitter as an RSS feed. That’s not community.
    23. 23. When not to have an online community • You want to get it started and then ignore it. • Nobody’s in charge. • You don’t actually want to interact with readers. Who has time for that? • Too much competition from community sites doing a better job than you could.
    24. 24. Who should run the show? The person who wants to.
    25. 25. The Community Manager • You need one. • No, I mean it. You really need one. • The bartender and the bouncer
    26. 26. Choosing the Community Manager • Not the overworked magazine editor for whom this is yet another task
    27. 27. A unique editorial challenge • Journalists are trained as observers. – They want to report, not chat. They can have a hard time making a transition to conversations. – This isn’t insurmountable. Just pay attention. • If you require the community manager to be an on-site position, I will personally slap you.
    28. 28. Technology • What to look for in the software – Software features • Whatever makes it easy to contribute • Whatever makes it easy for readers to find stuff they care about: categories, tags, sections • It must kill spam – Integration into your website • Community should appear on your home page • It’s not always clear what content to promote
    29. 29. Budget • Price of the “community” software – Free doesn’t suck. – What do the vendors give you? – Web site integration is where you’ll spend the money • Salary for a community manager
    30. 30. Making a Success of An Online Community • Editorial involvement • Getting people talking • Answering the tough policy questions
    31. 31. Editorial involvement • Readers want access to you. – Answer their comments and questions! • Listen and interact – Passive • Lots of controversy on a topic -> maybe we should write a feature? – Active: Ask for input • “Who has the best happy hour in the Airpark?” • “What did I miss in my “28 ways to know the job interview is over?”
    32. 32. Getting people talking • The participant : lurker ratio • The welcome wagon • Asking leading questions – People love to tell their own stories • Reward community members for participating • Separating by topic and function • Manage the jerks
    33. 33. The Three-Beer Questions • Anonymity • Require registration to participate? • Managing the culture • The rules of the community – Naughty language. – The difference between “that’s a stupid idea” and “you are stupid.”
    34. 34. A 3-Second Test of Online Community Readiness • Remember the offensive comment posted by the reader? • What did you do? Why? – Removed it – Argued with it – Responded to it – Used it as a platform • Here’s what I’d do.
    35. 35. Resources • Online community report: www.onlinecommunityreport.com • e-Mint, Association of Online Community Professionals www.e- mint.org.uk/ • Books – Managing Online Forums, Patrick O'Keefe – Community Building on the Web, Amy Jo Kim
    36. 36. Thank You Esther Schindler esther@bitranch.com twitter.com/estherschindler

    ×