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Jeff Atwood - How To Optimize Your Community Platform

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Jeff Atwood is the co-founder of StackExchange, one of the world's largest and most successful communities, and Discourse - the most modern community platform in existence today.

Published in: Marketing

Jeff Atwood - How To Optimize Your Community Platform

  1. 1. JEFF ATWOOD DISCOURSE.ORG STACKEXCHANGE.COM CODINGHORROR.COM Optimizing Your Community Platform
  2. 2. This site is all about getting answers. It’s not a discussion forum. There’s no chit-chat.
  3. 3. I love discussion communities. But I hate discussion software.
  4. 4. The heady days of 2003 are over. Forums aren’t cool. You know what’s cool?
  5. 5. I don’t want to live in a world where “everything is on Facebook.” Or SnapChat. … do you?
  6. 6. I love communitie s that are passionate about obscure stuff.
  7. 7. Your clubhouse. Your rules. Your norms.
  8. 8. How often do you get search results that lead to a discussion page? For me, weekly!
  9. 9. Change the 1 homepage
  10. 10. What’s the first thing we do to discussion visitors?
  11. 11. Witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational Dewey Decimal System!
  12. 12. Is your forum about conversations, or is it about categorization?
  13. 13. Build reminders for teaching civility 2
  14. 14. The “death of civility” The “flamewar” Leading to…
  15. 15. “The priority for participating on this forum is not the quality of the content. I ultimately don't care how smart or funny or observant you are. Those are plusses, but they're never prerequisites. The priority is on how you treat each other.”
  16. 16. “I expect spats, arguments, occasional insults, and even inevitable grudges. We've all done that. But in the end, I expect you to act like a group of friends who care about each other, no matter how dumb some of us might be, no matter what political opinions some of us hold, no matter what games some of us like or dislike.”
  17. 17. On a new install of your forum software, what is said about civility? What is said about making text bold?
  18. 18. The minimum reminder… at exactly the right time
  19. 19. Optimize 3 for Reading
  20. 20. Forums are conversations. Posting is talking.
  21. 21. … but is anyone listening ?
  22. 22. Turns out, being there and reading a lot of the content is crucial.
  23. 23. How do you make it easy for users to read?
  24. 24. What should I read next? What am I most interested in? How do you reward users for reading?
  25. 25. Empower regulars to 4 moderate
  26. 26. Moderators are often not around. Or maybe they’re not looking. (or maybe they just suck)
  27. 27. If your community can’t push out trolls and with no moderators present, then it will fail.
  28. 28. How do we learn to trust our community?
  29. 29. 1. Participation over time (reading) 2. Exercise common features 3. Don’t create problems
  30. 30. How it looks to the community
  31. 31. How it looks to the user
  32. 32. How it looks to moderators
  33. 33. Moderators can expedite… but are not required.
  34. 34. Communities need an immune system that makes them resistant to trolls, spammers, and cruelty.
  35. 35. Provide tools to stay on topic 5
  36. 36. What happens when I click on a topic titled Funny pictures of dogs?
  37. 37. The cardinal sin of the Internet is to click on a link expecting one thing, but get something else entirely.
  38. 38. Not a good feeling.
  39. 39. What tools do you provide to let people create related conversations ?
  40. 40. How many “trick” link titles is your community creating?
  41. 41. 1. Change the Homepage 2. Build reminders for teaching civility 3. Optimize for reading 4. Empower regulars to moderate 5. Provide tools for staying on topic
  42. 42. DISCOURSE.ORG

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