Hi Folks – a quick post to let you know that I am leading a discussion at the #OCTribe Online Community Meetup in SF this Wednesday night.
I’ve been involved with this meetup for many years, and it is an honor to be asked to speak!
Description and registration information follow. I hope we can meet Wednesday night!
Online Communities are Your Organization’s Future
I will present and then lead a discussion on:
- Why 20th century businesses aren’t adapting to 21st century realities, including mobile
- Why we need a fundamentally new and more expansive approach to building online communities in our evolving global economy (hint: mobile)
- How to manage one of the most important (and misunderstood / undervalued) organizational functions
- Why the roles of “Community Manager” and the Community Team need to evolve
- Emerging opportunities for businesses to create and exchange new forms of value with their communities and, in the process, become more sustainable.
This meetup and group is always high signal / low noise.
Last week my friends and colleagues at The Community Roundtable released their annual “State of Community Management” report. This is the fifth year for the report, and the Roundtable team surveyed over 200 global organizations.
Key Points & Findings include:
- An overview of the excellent Community Maturity model, as well as case studies on ho Microsoft and Johnson Controls have extended the model for internal use.
- Organizations are still struggling to show ROI (less than 50% in Best In Class organizations).
- Community Management, as a role and discipline, needs more internal investment and support.
- Advocacy program need to mature beyond the “MVP Model”.
- Findings on programming to boost community engagement.
You can view the executive summary here:
I recommend taking the time to download and read the full report.
While at Forum One, I published a similar report in 2008. It’s interesting to note the places where the understanding of the practices and discipline of Community Management have advanced, and where progress seems slower (ROI, Organizational Structure).
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments! What is your take on the State of Community Management?
First established in January of 2010, Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD) is held on the 4th Monday of January to celebrate the role of Community Manager. The celebrations range from small acts of gratitude, like thanking a staff community manager with a note, to major events and meetups all over the world.
Jeremiah Owyang, the event’s creator, is tracking all of the activity on his blog here:
4th Annual Community Manager Appreciation Day: Jan 28, 2013
San Francisco Happy Hour on 1/28
I am helping organize a San Francisco happy hour on the evening of the 28th at District Wine Bar. The event is free, but you must register and RSVP here:
Community Manager Appreciation Happy Hour – San Francisco
Google Hangout from the folks at My Community Manager
Tim McDonald and the team at My Community Manager are hosting a hangout on Google + all day on the 28th – more info at:
My Community Manager G+ #CMAD Hangout
Again, Jeremiah is doing a great job of tracking all of the activity across the globe via this blog post.
Find YOUR own “A” in CMAD
I originally chose to support #CMAD because I believe that most organizations are underinvesting in and not properly prioritizing the role online communities can play in their marketing, sales and support strategies. I see #CMAD as a way to raise the visibility of the role of Community Management in addition to a whole lot of gratitude for Community Managers being passed around. With that being said, I have a couple of suggestions for celebrating #CMAD:
- As a baseline, acknowledge the community managers on your staff with thanks and perhaps a small gift
- Thank a community manager in one of your passion or hobby communities
- Thank those you have learned from in the space – I threw a shout out to Amy Jo Kim, Howard Rheingold and Joe Cothrel… and I will continue to add to that list on the run up to the 28th
- Think about how we go beyond “appreciation” for the CM role next year – should it be Advancement? Acceleration? Let’s ave this discussion during the year!
As I look back on my 14 years in the space, I am encouraged by the progress in tools, practices, programs and professional network… but we still have a long way to go! I look forward to seeing Bay Area Community Managers at the Happy Hour on 1/28.
Join me next Wednesday, February 1st, in San Francisco for the “Community Secret Sauce” panel discussion. The event is part of the #OCTribe meetup series that Susan Tenby hosts, and these events are always a fun and informative time.
Joining me will be Thor Muller from Get Satisfaction, Rachel Luxemburg from Adobe and Gail Ann Williams from Salon.com & The Well. We will each be sharing “Secret Sauce” examples for online community success. The first part of the discussion will be panel-based, then we will shift gears and solicit the best secret sauce ingredients from the participants in the session. Our goal is to walk away from the evening with a nice list of ingredients for Community Managers and Strategists to use in their day to day practice.
More details on the #OCTribe Meetup site: RSVP here (Registration Required).
It is no secret that there is a lot of turnover happening the social media industry – just take a peek at the regular “People on the Move” updates on Jeremiah Owyang’s blog. This is only going to get worse as more organizations adopt social media, organizational structures change, the economy improves, and people in social roles mature (or burn out).
One key reason I bring up the growing churn in the industry is this: Social media and Community programs suffer when staff turns over… especially when that staff is the senior leadership that helped make key platform, policy and program decisions, or community managers that have built relationships with large swaths of the community.
I was talking about this with some folks at the eMarketing Summit in Portland last week, and the concept of a “Social Media Living Trust” surfaced. What if, as part of the requirements for social strategy & governance, senior leadership had to create a living trust document that outlined:
- A look forward: The 3-5 year strategic plan, with assumptions about market conditions, platform, staffing, funding and performance metrics.
- A look backward: The rationale and history behind key decisions like: platform, policy, team structure, personal, etc.
- An overview of most active / impactful members & subgroups
- Naming the person / team that would succeed the current team, and assume stewardship of the community / social program?
Howdy Folks – you may have noticed a name change to the Online Community Roundtable group. What’s up with that?
The primary motivation was to give a home to all the great activity that has sprung up with community managers and strategists around the #octribe tag. The tag sprung out of a conversation that Randy Farmer, Gail Williams, Kaliya Hamlin Scott Moore and I had in the summer of 2009 about a way to connect the emergent community of community practitioners – we discussed many things, including a regular blog-based discussion. It is pretty amazing to me that the #OCTribe tag was the thing that got traction.
The second motivating factor is that good friends Rachel Happe and Jim Storer are trying to build a business around the “Community Roundtable“. They’ve gotten a great start, and I don’t want to confuse folks with similar labels.
Has the intention of the group changed? Not really – I would love OC Tribe to be an aggregator of community best practices, high value events and a place to post key resources and jobs. To that end, you will notice a growing list of folks being added as admins for the group. Admins are charing some sort of regular regional meetup for community pros.
So, that’s an overview of the name change in a nutshell. If you have any questions, please let me know!
Update: I found Gail Williams original post about the origin of #octribe:
Are we a Tribe?
The next Online Community Roundtable is Thursday, December 16th, at Yahoo! in Sunnyvale, CA.
I’ve been hosting the Roundtables since July of 2005, gathering community and social media strategists to discuss real world problems, opportunities and techniques to create successful social strategies.
The format is conversational – the first hour is social, and the next 2 hours are a facilitated discussion about topics the group surfaces during the social hour.
If you work in the online community field and are in the neighborhood on the 16th, I encourage you to join us.
Please RSVP here:
Knoll (@thomasknoll) and I will be kicking off a weekly podcast:
Every Wednesday at 12 Noon PT, Thomas and I, plus a special guest,
will talk about the building, managing and growing healthy online
communities.Details for tomorrow’s show:
Title: Episode 1 – Community Chat Kickoff!
Time: 10/13/2010 03:00 PM EDT
Episode Notes: The kickoff episode of Community Chat! Bill Johnston
and Thomas Knolls will be discussing the premise of the Community Chat
podcast with special guest Randy Farmer. Will also be getting a
preview of Blog World Expo from Check Hemann.
You can access the show (and archives) here – http://bit.ly/cmtychat
The tag for the podcast, and subsequent discussions is #cmtychat.
Note: This is cross-posted from the Online Community Report.
I’m pleased to be kicking off the 2nd topic in the #octribe discussion, following the kickoff topic of “Influencers” by Gail Williams two weeks ago.
How OCTribe works
Write something tomorrow (Tuesday, July 28), tag it #octribe or tweet it as #octribe, and your post will be linked from the recap page. Moving forward, each 2nd Tuesday and 4th Tuesday of the month, the call and the recap will be hosted on the site of another one of the bloggers in the loosely defined OCTribe group. This conversational project is just starting, so please join in!
The Topic: Valuing Member Participation and Contribution in Online Communities
Admittedly, this topic is a bit of a double edged sword: Assigning financial value to online community member participation and contribution.
On one hand, a community manager could can paint a compelling portrait of value for internal stakeholders by determining a financial value to member participation (assistant moderate, guiding discussions, welcoming new members, etc.) and assigning value to member contributions (support forum posts, tutorials, reviews, feedback and ideas).
On the other hand, if an organization were to make the valuations of member participation and contribution public, it would likely set off a firestorm of debate about member compensation, legal boundaries around “volunteer opportunities”, and ultimately, force the host organization to account for true cost and true value of the activities and content created in their online community.
It seems clear that it would be useful for organizations to have at least notional values for member contributions and participation. What is less clear is how (if at all) to talk about this value with the community, and how (if at all) social capital is exchanged for financial capital in online communities.
The questions I would like to explore in this #octribe series are (feel free to pick one, all or explore your own!):
• Do you currently assign an internal financial value to member contributions and participation?
• Do you use an assumed value as part of your communities ROI reporting?
• Do you account for social capital in your system of accounting for online communities?
Reading the following article from forbes (2001) spawned the “participation value” question for me. In the article, staff writers sketched the value of the cost savings AOL benefited from via their volunteer program.
“How much has AOL saved by using volunteer labor during the past nine years? That’s not an easy question, and with AOL involved in litigation, the company is not eager to furnish the answer. But even with the most conservative numbers available, we estimate that by using volunteers AOL escaped nearly $973 million in expenses since going public in 1992. That poses the question: Would AOL have thrived-or even survived-on Wall Street without free help from volunteers during its first seven years as a public company? Not likely.
The many jobs that volunteers have performed for AOL would be compensated at a wide range of hourly rates in the labor market (see story). To be safe, we used a conservative figure of $15 per hour-about equal to that of a security guard-as the median salary for today’s AOL volunteers. We adjusted the hourly rate backward using an annual rate of inflation of 4% (historical note: Inflation hasn’t been as high as 4% since mid-1991). For the purpose of the model, each volunteer is assumed to have worked 10 hours per week, 50 weeks a year.”
Please note that I am including the article because it is one example of valuing member participation.
So, to wrap up:
• Please post your thoughts on valuing member participation on Tuesday, July 28th
• Tag the posts and any related tweets as #octribe
• I’ll compile a wrap up post that includes all tagged posts by the end of the week
If you have any questions, please email me.
Are you a community manager or social media strategist or are you in charge of online community & social media at your organization? Are you in the Washington DC Area?
If so, you might find the Online Community Roundtable of interest. This is a small networking group / event that meets regularly to discuss issues, opportunities and trends with online communities, and represents leading organizations (large and small). This will be our first meeting in the DC area, and I’m very excited to be “taking the show” to the east coast.
The format is an hour of networking, followed by two hours of presentation and discussion about online communities and social media. The Roundtable is free, but you need to RSVP.
Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Center for Global Development
Street: 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW
City/Town: Washington, DC
You must RSVP to attend:
Please note: even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still rsvp to the event.
If you have any questions, please email me .