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When was the last time that you walked by a restaurant with no one in it and decided to walk in?
chairs
Empty seats, how inviting is that?

As I have stated many times, Moderation and Management services have transformed over the last year or so. In the past, Moderation services were strictly thought of in a reactive nature – removal of content and the associated member accounts.

Now, the roles and responsibilities of Community Moderators have expanded to include a more proactive nature. Communities that are just beginning need to be jump-started. Content needs to be posted and interactions need to be portrayed within the community, so when potential members “stumble-upon” the area, they are aware of what is acceptable and allowed; what the community is geared towards. Not only that, members need to be aware of all of the features and functionality that is available to them.

Moderation services can assist with the seeding of content and active facilitation of interactions within a community to get it on track and moving forward. While some communities may need more than others, these services can be tailored to meet any companies needs.

After all, when you visit a restaurant or an online community it is nice to know what you are getting into.
restuarant

The next time that you think of an online community and how to manage and moderate it, please think of what your needs and goals are, and how you expect to accomplish them – while at the same time, taking a look from the Outside.

Moderation and Management (whether internally or externally driven) of any online community is not something that should be an after-thought, because if it is, you are already setting yourself up to sink.

Just like in real life, you do not want to be that person that only comes around when they need something.

Over the last week (since i have been laid off) I find an amazing shift (maybe it is an obvious one for most) in the way that I find/read/learn from information on the web.

Prior to last Thursday, my daily activity – outside of working – was checking in with Facebook to see what my friends were up to, reviewing my Google reader to check up on the blogs that I subscribe to, and getting on Twitter for a little while to make sure that I was not too out of touch and keeping up with the key leaders out there. Linkedin was truly an afterthought and took a major back seat. Yea, I may read the weekly status updates emails that they send, but they did not interest me that much.

Before:

  1. Facebook
  2. Google Reader
  3. Twitter
  4. LinkedIn

Now:

  1. Twitter
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Google Reader
  4. Facebook

Future:

  1. Equal distribution

I have began a major shift in my activity within the above services, and I feel bad for the ones that I had ignored in the past, and feel bad for the ones that I am temporarily ignoring at the moment.

The fact of the matter is that you really need to think about the Networks that you have and leverage them all equally – within reason. There are many people in all of the above areas that can help you out. I have had at least 1 person in each of these areas reach out to me over the past week to discuss a potential opportunity. Thankfully!

Thoughts?

Mike

For those of you that have followed me over the last few months, you are probably aware that I was part of the most recent layoff at Mzinga. I had a great time working for them in some way/shape/form over the last 2+ years. With every ending, starts a new beginning, new doors are opened and all of that fun stuff……

I have had the fortune to be friends and have worked with many well established personalities within the “Social Media” field, if you will. I appreciate all that has been done for me over the last few days and am overwhelmed with the kindness and thoughtful communication that has come my way. I would like to thank everyone that has proactively taken time out of their day to communicate with me.

Regardless of when and where I land, I promise to leverage this blog to share my experiences within Community Development over the last 10 years. I may at times focus on Moderation, or steer off course and discuss general best practices, but I hope that you all find this blog informative.

The one thing that has become apparent during this whole situation, thanks for this thought from one of my good friends, is that there is a fundamental shift happening between corporations and their employees. Corporations no longer have a strangle hold on their employees and what information is out there. Walls are falling down left and right and communication outlets are endless. The more transparent that both can be, the more successful each will be.

The changes that I have made over the past few days reminds me of the new Movie UP. I am in the process of building my Hot Air balloon and ready to take off for new adventures. Hopefully we can all learn from each other during this trip.

Thanks for reading.

Mike

Communities are not something that can be built and then ignored. They need to be nurtured and managed. This point could not be stressed enough.

I was just reading a great article – Six ways to make Web 2.0 work located in McKinsey Quarterly and wanted to point out this quote:

“….Web 2.0 technologies are interactive and require users to generate new information and content or to edit the work of other participants.”

This is a new area of participation for most people. Some have adopted, while others are just coming in for the 1st time. Guidance is needed.

Now whether you have an internal community focused on employees, or an open community focused on the general public (consumers), you should have a concern over the types of behavior and content that is going to be posted. Internal communities are likely more concerned with employee behavior and information that may be posted which may be sensitive and not appropriate to share in an open forum (the leaking of information).
Open communities are more concerned with what is being posted within the community and how it reflects on their brand. What are members saying about their product(s),their competition, and compiling that feedback, what is their mood?

The fact of the matter is that many companies are concerned with their “Web 2.0” efforts and if/when they will succeed. I have said this in the past, and will say it again, if you build it, they will come but if you do not have the proper strategy, tools and managament/moderation in place, they will not stay. There are not many partners out there that can offer this end-to-end solution. Luckily we here at Mzinga can 😉

What concerns have you come across in your fields and discussed in the past with others thinking about “Web 2.0” solutions? I know that there are plenty out there…..

As always, thanks for reading

Mike

Note: Cross-posted at mzinga.com

Employment

I am currently employed at Autodesk as a Senior Manager of Online Community and Social Engagement. My team is responsible for the Customer Support initiatives across all of our Social channels.

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