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'"Your volunteers need their own special community. They need to be 'in it together.'" - I whole heartedly agree with this. You get them to bond together as a community and support each other. One of the reason I have kept my volunteers so long is that they enjoy interacting with each other in their own private group. They see this as a perk and a kind of exclusive community that only they are part of. They use this community to not only discuss their moderating/concierge duties and issues, but also to bond over personal matters. They feel "safe" in their only little space. Appreciating, nurturing and guiding volunteers (if you have them in your community) is an essential part of Community Management. You have to take an interest in them, and thank them constantly. If you aren't nurturing them, they will feel that they are being taken for granted. After all they don't volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts, they do so because if fulfills a need in themselves, and if a CM does not feed that need they won't be volunteering for long.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2012 on The Wikipedia Problem at The Online Community Guide
I just wanted to say many thanks for sharing the link to that book on Twitter. It's looks great. I ordered it and it's winging its way to me now. I wouldn't have known about it if you hadn't given the heads-up.
The motivation that drives my long term members is definitely friends/affiliation. They feel part of the community, because they are emotionally invested in the other people that form that community. Which is evidence of why, as community managers, our greatest role is to help facilitate the relationships of those members. Once you get them emotionally invested they will keep coming back.
Indeed, I totally agree with this. Whilst I take on board comments from the vocal few I am guided by the "actions" of the majority.
Some people have no life and like to troll for fun. Some are quite technically savvy and will, as Historian mentioned, spend a lot of time getting around things such as email and IP blocks, and etc, etc. At the end of the day I'm not about to waste my time engaging or feeding a blatant troll. We have one that has joined our community over and over again during the last couple of years. He spends an inordinate amount of his time finding new proxies he can use, and creating new email addresses. In fact anything he can think of to get around our blocks. We don't engage him when he returns, we just ban him. He's a pain in the bum and my one consolation is that it takes him longer to find a new proxy, new email address and username etc, than it takes me to flick the ban switch ;)
Loved the "told the first half of a joke to which the unsuspecting member had to respond to get the punchline" idea. Kudos :)
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2011 on A Fascinating Approach at The Online Community Guide
Richard, I wish it's not always as simple as that. We already have a section like you have mentioned, but in the cases I've highlighted in my blog entry, the "SM" peeps in question didn't want to limit themselves to that section. Otherwise it would not be such an issue.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2011 on Everyone Wins at The Online Community Guide
Great tips. I have also found a community wiki really helps too. People share great info, and generally it's easy to use. We've built a fantastic information base on ours. All contributed to by members who have information and tips to share.
Drew, these things take time. Personally I would err on the side of caution and stay away from paid forum posters and fake accounts. It's not the right way to go about seeding a community. It's creates a false sense of community that just doesn't exist. Don't force it. Reach out to people one-on-one, grow the community one person at time. One thing you can't do is force things by introducing insincere elements such as you've mentioned. All that's going to do is break the trust element before you've even got things rolling along, and members need to trust in the leaders of the community, and each other.
I am have the same thoughts as Rosemary on this. We've got a couple of off-topic areas for our members. It really helps them bond and get to know each other. Any "off-topic" stuff that is posted elsewhere can get moved there if needed. I feel if you find your members are frequently posting off-topic, chit-chat type stuff then providing them a space to do that really helps bond them as a community.
I completely agree Richard. This is what takes up a large portion of my day. It's time consuming, but it reaps its own rewards.
To be fair to Sven he is trying. He read Richard's post here: and jumped on board and set a goal. Whether one agrees with his goals or not, it shows he is learning from Richard and trying to increase activity within his community. As Richard wrote: "Failing that, just write a news post telling members what the community goals are for this year." Seems that is what Sven did. I agree Sven's goal might not quite be the "right" goal, but you have to give him kudos for taking Richard's suggestions and giving it a go. Community Management is a constantly evolving process and if Sven is new to it then he is still in a learning curve. So keep on trying to learn more and do more Sven. Happy New Year to you!
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2011 on Bad Community Goals at The Online Community Guide
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Jan 3, 2011