Human-Centered Aspects of Community Management


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

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Human-Centered Aspects of Community Management

  1. 1. Human-centeredAspects of Community Management Marc Siegel
  2. 2. My background Teachers and students Software developers Casual game players
  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 13. Analytics trumps community inputRegardless of input, Shard 5 tests so muchbetter, so it will be used going forward
  14. 14. Bonus question: Twitter• “LinkedIn is dead; the way to search for work is by Twitter”• Huh?