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After 3 months of working out of my house as a contract employee for AAA Mid-Atlantic, I have made the decision to move on. Thanks to the AAA team for the opportunity.

During my time there, I feel that the social media team that is in place learned a lot from me, as I did from them. They have a lot of hurdles ahead of them, but then again don’t we all. I am confident that over time they will be able to execute a successful social media campaign, leveraging not only their own community tools, but also leveraging other platforms in order to create awareness around AAA and the company’s goals/programs/offerings. I wish the team best of luck, as they have some cool stuff coming up.

As they say, timing is everything, and I must say that I am in the right place at the right time. I have accepted the job of Social Media Strategist with Ektron, a Content Management System (CMS) company based out of Nashua, NH. They are more than a CMS though.  I think that their “tag-line” says it all,

ektron
 
Is that not the question that we should all be asking ourselves? Is that not the foundation of your strategy, where all conversations should begin? Talking about getting the ball rolling right away with any potential clients and shooting from the hip.

During the interview process, a lot of things became clear to me:

  1. They have a solid platform
  2. Their Management is experienced and dedicated
  3. They were selected as a “Visionary” within Gartners Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WOW)
  4. It demo’s like you would not believe
  5. Their client list is very impressive
  6. The management interface is simple
  7. They needed to increase their Social Media presence

Not to mention the fact that Ektron is in a unique position, they have an incredible CMS platform and are (have already) integrated Social Media components within the fabric of their platform (imagine how powerful this is – can be?) From experience, it is easier to have a CMS platform and integrate Social Media features and functionality then have the Social Media stuff without the CMS/learning stuff.

I could go on, but I think that you get the picture.

My last point (7) really struck me hard during the interview process. I used to drive past their office 2x a day on my way into a prior job, and did not even know who they were or what they did. When I was 1st contacted by a friend that works there, I had thought that they wanted to build their own community, not that they were already a CMS vendor. WOOPS. Glad that I did some research before I interviewed!

I am joining the Ektron team on November 2nd, in Orlando, Fl. at their yearly Customer conference. Talk about getting the ball rolling, Welcome aboard. If you are reading this and are a client of Ektron, please grab me during the conference and let’s talk Social Media.  I may not be entirely brought up to speed as it will be my 1st day on the job, but I do like to jump right into things.

Talk to you soon, and as always, thanks for reading.

Mike

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I cannot believe that it has been over a month since my last post, so much for keeping up with my responsibilities.

The last month has been full of everything, traveling, interviewing and landing a great opportunity. First, let me tell you about my travels over the last month……….then again, what the heck am I thinking, let me tell you about the opportunity that I landed 3 weeks ago.

Thanks to Heather Strout, I was able to get my foot into the door at AAA, working with their Mid-Atlantic division (DE, MD, PA, DC, VA, and NJ). They had launched new communities (blogs, message boards, profiles, recommendations) around Cars & Driving and Travel. Through their strategy phases with Mzinga, they realized the importance of having someone Manage the area and become the internal evangelist for their community and its members. After a couple of meetings, I was offered a Contract position with AAA Mid-Atlantic. This is a very exciting opportunity for me, as I am getting back to my roots of Social Media/Online Community management – building an online community and developing a Social Media strategy around it to increase customer satisfaction, brand awareness, membership, visibility and all of the other things that come along with a successful plan.

I have just begun my 2nd week and am already in the depths of the Metrics and Measurement side of things, so that I have a holistic view of what can/not be accomplished. Granted the “anything is possible” saying comes to mind, but I like to be a little more realistic.

As for my travels, they were all New England based, some Vermont, some NH and some MA. Nice to do a little bit of camping and hiking while the weather is nice.

As I have promised in the past, I will try to update my blog as much as possible; you may notice a slight change in the “Voice” as it may come on less of the Moderation side of things, and more of the Management side of things.

As always, thanks for reading.

Mike

Thanks all for reading. Welcome to my initial blog post. I am new to the world of online blogging (have worked in Online Community Development for 10 years), and have never taken the time (or have I been asked) to write down my thoughts. I will focus more on the moderation and management of Community content, and will do my best to share my past experiences and beliefs.

Background: I began my Community career within Customer Support for Fogdog Sports back in 1999. During the last portion of my stint there, I worked and assisted in the development and integration of Community platforms and User generated content.

The Bay area was crazy back then, and we were able to bring the company public. Shortly after we went public, we were bought out and the company was eventually relocated to Pennsylvania. Community Development and Content management was fairly “new” back in ’99 as you may know. Fortunate enough for me I was living in San Jose, CA. and ran across an Online Community position for a small auction type company that you may have heard of eBay. I was able to land there, holding many different roles within our Community Development department during my 5+ year stint. These roles included 3rd party vendor management, Community Platform and Product management, Global Consulting, and Focus group management. I lived in San Jose for about 7 years and made the decision to move back to New England, to be closer to family. After leaving eBay, I worked for Shared Insights for a little while – with Aaron, Barry and Jim, and then moved on to Prospero, as outlined in my bio. I understand both the vendor side as well as the client’s side of a Community business, because of my past roles. I fell this puts me in a unique position as I am able to communicate with our clients more productively and proactively, knowing the expectations that I had in the past with a vendor.

I would like to thank you all for reading my initial post, and hope that you enjoy the topics that I am planning to blog about. I will try to update the blog every other week to begin with, and will post more frequently as my time permits.

Mike

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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