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Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in
Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano, Editor/Moderator, TechWhir...
People come for content, but they stay for community.
Ben Martin, OnlineCommunityResults.com
A little background
• One-half of INKtopia Limited, publishers of
TechWhirl
• Dual role as Executive Editor of TechWhirl, ...
Definitions
• User
• Community
• Interest &
purpose
User: a person who uses or operates
something, especially a computer o...
This community’s purpose
(agenda)
• Understand how user/online communities develop
and mature.
• Uncover how the managemen...
How online user communities
evolved
• Radio communications
• Trade events/professional conferences
• Telephone call center...
1945 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015
1986: Eric Thomas
invents LISTSERV
1945: FCC
establishes two
citizens’ band
radio ...
Customers who actively post questions and respond to others’
questions in the community are less likely to log SRs [servic...
User groups and content
generation
• Users create content to:
• Complain
• Compliment
• Argue
• Discover
• Master
• Share
...
Where the user community fits
into strategy
• Product strategy
• Support
• Product roadmap
• Marketing strategy
• Brand
• ...
"[D]espite the limited direct control of individual people’s actions, online communities can be
designed and managed to ac...
Best practices (for consideration)
• Build a content strategy that addresses the role of
online communities.
• Define the ...
Examples we’ll use
• Verizon
• Etsy
• Constant Contact
• Fastly
• Net Suite
• Cisco
Create content that informs, stirs up strong emotions, and most
importantly, establishes a connection with your audience.
...
Build the content strategy to
address online communities
• Community lifecycle
• Audiences and their needs
• Alignment to ...
Brain Traffic’s Content Quad
Prospects = Peripherals?
Advocates = Veterans?
Drive product
roadmaps with the
help of insiders?
[O]nline community planning usually begins with looking for ways to solve problems –
problems of your customers and proble...
Define your communities
Business goals
• Build brand awareness
• Increase revenue
• Increase customer base
• Extend existi...
See this community at
https://community.constantcontact.com/
Make sure the site works, test it often, eat your own dogfood and
design it to move folks through workflows naturally.
Lay...
Build a community management
framework
• Brand objectives
• User experience
• Technology
• Management / operations
• Engag...
Look familiar?
• Identify
• Strategize
• Model/
conceptualize
• Plan
• Implement
• Manage and
improve
Some platform requirements to
consider
• Role-based access
• Moderation and user management
• Multiple access points
• Upl...
Community management
considerations
• Employee staffing
• Volunteer roles
• Terms of Service
• Content ownership and usage...
It is the members who own the content that they share on your community.
-Patrick O’Keefe, managingcommunities.com
Photo c...
Content extraction & delivery
• Integrated content
• Linking content to current discussions
• Repurposing content arising ...
The secret is to spend most of your time and creative energy building
assets that you control.
Sonia Simone, CMO of Copybl...
Evolve the online user community
• Refresh the look and feel
• Analyze topic trends and adjust categories and sub-
groups ...
Those involved in TechWhirl understand that it is and always has been a
community, one at the core of social media.
Me 
P...
A quick analysis of TechWhirl
• Longevity
• Engagement
• Technology
• Evolution
When you give people an opportunity to be part of something, they’re going
to be proud of (and eager to share) something t...
Q&A & Wrap up
• Know the business goals.
• Link your community strategy to business goals, brand
strategy, and content str...
Your feedback wanted!
• Integrate social media and online community
content?
• How to build a usable online community?
• O...
Create something people want to share.
John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing
Photo credit: Sonja Langford on unsplas...
Resources worth checking out
• Bone, S., et al. How Customer Participation in B2B Peer-to-Peer Problem-
Solving Communitie...
Resources worth checking out (cont.)
• Malinen, S. Understanding user participation in online communities: A
systematic li...
Thank you for your time and engagement!
Connie Giordano, Editor/Moderator, TechWhirl
Photo credit: Trev Grant on flickr.co...
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users
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Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users

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Connie Giordano: Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users

  1. 1. Content and Community: Pitfalls and Practices in Managing Communities of Users Connie Giordano, Editor/Moderator, TechWhirl Photo credit: Trev Grant on flickr.com LavaCon 2016
  2. 2. People come for content, but they stay for community. Ben Martin, OnlineCommunityResults.com
  3. 3. A little background • One-half of INKtopia Limited, publishers of TechWhirl • Dual role as Executive Editor of TechWhirl, and consultant/content services provider via INKtopia. • Masters, Organizational Communication, Queens University. • 25 years in technical and marketing communications. • Cross-functional experience in knowledge management, process design, and business analysis. • Expertise in editing, journalism and tech comm industries. • Joined the TECHWR-L discussion list in 1998. Bought it in 2011. @CPGiordano connie@inktopia.net www.linkedin.com/in/conniegiordano
  4. 4. Definitions • User • Community • Interest & purpose User: a person who uses or operates something, especially a computer or other machine. Community: Self-organized network of people with common agenda, cause, or interest, who collaborate by sharing ideas, information, and other resources. Community of Interest: Communities built around a shared interest, but with no single defined goal. Community of Purpose: Community organized around a common, clear, defined goal.
  5. 5. This community’s purpose (agenda) • Understand how user/online communities develop and mature. • Uncover how the management of user communities links to business objectives. • Review some best practice considerations around managing content in the community to achieve specific goals. • Gather some ideas for a TechWhirl series on managing user communities and content.
  6. 6. How online user communities evolved • Radio communications • Trade events/professional conferences • Telephone call centers • Direct mail/email • Electronic Bulletin Boards • Discussion Lists • Blogs • User group forums • Knowledge bases • Social media • Full blown user communities
  7. 7. 1945 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 1986: Eric Thomas invents LISTSERV 1945: FCC establishes two citizens’ band radio frequencies 1991: Microsoft establishes MSN Groups 1997: AOL Instant Messenger released 1983: Delphi forums launches 2002: LinkedIn launches 2003: Skype launches 1993: Eric Ray launches TECHWR-L 1946: ENIAC formally dedicated at University of PA 1979: Usenet established at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke 1978: Christenson and Suess develop dialup BBS in Chicago 1988: Jarkko Oikarinen creates the first IRC 1974: Truckers organize rolling blockades via CB radio. 1969: ARPANET establishes link between UCLA and Stanford 1952: UNIVAC 1 correctly predicts Eisenhower’s election as POTUS 2001: Yahoo! Groups launch 1962: “On-Line Man-Computer Communications” published 1973: David Woolley creates PLATO Notes at U of Illinois 2004: Facebook launches 1996: Mirabilis launches ICQ 2003: MySpace launches 2006: TED posts first six talks online 2006: Google acquires YouTube 2012: Facebook reaches 1 billion users 2016: Microsoft acquires Skype
  8. 8. Customers who actively post questions and respond to others’ questions in the community are less likely to log SRs [service requests] Sterling Bone, et al Photo credit: Josef Relnthaler on flickr.com
  9. 9. User groups and content generation • Users create content to: • Complain • Compliment • Argue • Discover • Master • Share • Such content can: • drive product design • supplement product or technical support • generate new sales • Initiate new movements, methodologies or companies This product sucks! Hey, did you know you could fix this really simply? Well, I believe the evidence shows… I just LOVE using this app to… Here’s some good examples of how to… It would be great if the product could…
  10. 10. Where the user community fits into strategy • Product strategy • Support • Product roadmap • Marketing strategy • Brand • Promotion • Content Product Strategy Brand > Marketing & Content Strategy
  11. 11. "[D]espite the limited direct control of individual people’s actions, online communities can be designed and managed to achieve the goals that their owners, managers, or members desire.“ -Resnick & Kraut Photo credit: Don Hankins on flickr.com
  12. 12. Best practices (for consideration) • Build a content strategy that addresses the role of online communities. • Define the community(ies) that support business goals. • Determine the framework to manage the communities. • Plan and launch engaging communities. • Design processes to extract & deliver content that supports strategy, goals and the users. • Actively evolve the community.
  13. 13. Examples we’ll use • Verizon • Etsy • Constant Contact • Fastly • Net Suite • Cisco
  14. 14. Create content that informs, stirs up strong emotions, and most importantly, establishes a connection with your audience. Gary Ciotti, SparringMind.com Photo credit: Ferran Pestana on flickr.com
  15. 15. Build the content strategy to address online communities • Community lifecycle • Audiences and their needs • Alignment to brand and marketing strategies • Balance of content generation and content consumption
  16. 16. Brain Traffic’s Content Quad
  17. 17. Prospects = Peripherals? Advocates = Veterans? Drive product roadmaps with the help of insiders?
  18. 18. [O]nline community planning usually begins with looking for ways to solve problems – problems of your customers and problems facing your organization. Joshua Paul, Socious.co Photo credit Peter Grima on flickr.com
  19. 19. Define your communities Business goals • Build brand awareness • Increase revenue • Increase customer base • Extend existing markets • Develop new products / enhance existing products Groups to engage • Employees • Prospective users • Typical users • Power users • Testers • Experts (industry/product) • Developers / Engineers / Tech Support
  20. 20. See this community at https://community.constantcontact.com/
  21. 21. Make sure the site works, test it often, eat your own dogfood and design it to move folks through workflows naturally. Layla Sabourian, Chef Koochooloo Photo credit: Lance Cheung/USDA
  22. 22. Build a community management framework • Brand objectives • User experience • Technology • Management / operations • Engagement channels
  23. 23. Look familiar? • Identify • Strategize • Model/ conceptualize • Plan • Implement • Manage and improve
  24. 24. Some platform requirements to consider • Role-based access • Moderation and user management • Multiple access points • Upload/download content capability • Security management (anti spam, identity management, etc) • Feedback and rating functionality • Recognition/gamification • Threading • Responsive design • Data analytics
  25. 25. Community management considerations • Employee staffing • Volunteer roles • Terms of Service • Content ownership and usage rights • Engagement tools
  26. 26. It is the members who own the content that they share on your community. -Patrick O’Keefe, managingcommunities.com Photo credit: Bekhian on flickr.com
  27. 27. Content extraction & delivery • Integrated content • Linking content to current discussions • Repurposing content arising from forum discussions
  28. 28. The secret is to spend most of your time and creative energy building assets that you control. Sonia Simone, CMO of Copyblogger Media Photo credit: Peter Grima on flickr.com
  29. 29. Evolve the online user community • Refresh the look and feel • Analyze topic trends and adjust categories and sub- groups accordingly • Assimilate appropriate social media and collaboration technologies and trends • Create a succession plan • Archive the contents of defunct communities
  30. 30. Those involved in TechWhirl understand that it is and always has been a community, one at the core of social media. Me  Photo credit: Connie Ma on flickr.com
  31. 31. A quick analysis of TechWhirl • Longevity • Engagement • Technology • Evolution
  32. 32. When you give people an opportunity to be part of something, they’re going to be proud of (and eager to share) something that they’ve helped create. Steve Kamb, founder of NerdFitness Photo credit: Clarice Barbato-Dunn on flickr.com
  33. 33. Q&A & Wrap up • Know the business goals. • Link your community strategy to business goals, brand strategy, and content strategy. • Define your communities. • Choose the right platform and technologies to manage the community and extract and deliver content. • Build management policies that protect and extend the community. • Be ready for the long haul—enterprise buy-in is critical.
  34. 34. Your feedback wanted! • Integrate social media and online community content? • How to build a usable online community? • Online communities and the buyer journey? • Areas of concern: security, privacy and IP. Others? • Success stories for engaging online communities? • Other questions or ideas for future exploration on TechWhirl?
  35. 35. Create something people want to share. John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing Photo credit: Sonja Langford on unsplash.com
  36. 36. Resources worth checking out • Bone, S., et al. How Customer Participation in B2B Peer-to-Peer Problem- Solving Communities Influences the Need for Traditional Customer Service. Journal of Service Research February 2015 vol. 18 no. 1 23-38. • Capterra.com. Top Community Software Products. http://www.capterra.com/community-software/ • Giordano, C. TECHWR-L at 18: An Early Social Media Tool Grows Up. Intercom, June 2011. Society for Technical Communication. • Hinchcliffe, D. Ten leading platforms for creating online communities. ZDnet.com 9/4/2008 http://www.zdnet.com/article/ten-leading-platforms- for-creating-online-communities/. Downloaded 10/20/2016 • Kraut, Robert E.; Resnick, Paul, et al. Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design (MIT Press). The MIT Press. Kindle Edition.
  37. 37. Resources worth checking out (cont.) • Malinen, S. Understanding user participation in online communities: A systematic literature review of empirical studies. Computers in Human Behavior 46:228-238 · May 2015 • Millington, R. Buzzing Communities: Proven Science for Community Managers. Amazon Digital Services, 2012. • Topo, The Online Community Playbook. http://www.dnnsoftware.com/Portals/0/Whitepapers/Online_Community_Pl aybook.pdf • York, Alex. The Ultimate User-Generated Content Guide. SproutSocial.com, 10/5/2016. http://sproutsocial.com/insights/user-generated-content-guide/. Downloaded 10/20/2016 • Communities and blogs for community management http://CMXHub.com http://ManagingCommunities.com http://TheCommunityManager.com
  38. 38. Thank you for your time and engagement! Connie Giordano, Editor/Moderator, TechWhirl Photo credit: Trev Grant on flickr.com LavaCon 2016

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