Challenges of community changes

In celebration of Community Manager Appreciation Day (a.k.a. #cmad) on January 26th, one live Google+ hangout after another was broadcast for 24 hours covering a wide variety of topics about community management. I participated in a panel talking about change in communities in hour 20 of the day. Entitled, Change Management: Migrations, Redesigns & Upgrades, Oh My!, we talked about how change is inevitable and the best practices in dealing with negative comments, how to communicate the change, not-so-popular decisions by upper management, technical breakdowns, and more. I was in good company with many veterans in the industry representing a wide variety of communities in many sectors; Allison Carney, Patrick Cleary, Scott Moore, Lauri Travis, and host, Jenn Emerson. I provided the perspective from migrating corporate websites owned by a corporate communications team. A complaint is a gift One of my favourite takeaways from our discussion was a quote from Scott Moore who said that “A complaint is a gift”. While no one wishes to receive any complaints or negative comments, they do provide valuable learnings that can improve your product/community/whathaveyou. I believe it was Allison Carney who shared her experiences with this. Your organization can benefit from both positive and negative comments. If it weren’t for some unexpected negative feedback that I’ve received for Stuttering is Cool, I wouldn’t have come up with an idea for an awareness campaign that generated a lot of reach on Twitter, Facebook, and even Tumblr! Which, in turn, generated a lot of new insight from audience comments (all positive). You are the member advocate Another favourite take away came from a discussion about how the community...

Crowdfunding is my latest adventure

Slight excerpt from the book I’ll be crowdfunding Crowdfunding is my latest learning adventure. Joining forces with my friend, Jean-François Leblanc, who lives in Quebec City, we will learn this exciting new field first hand — in not only raising funds, but also ongoing engagement with a community in a slightly different environment from the usual social media for a brand. Soon, Jean-François and I will be crowdfunding to produce a French translation of my book, “Stuttering is Cool: A Guide to Stuttering in a Fast-Talking World” which I self-published at the end of 2013. Jean-François and I met through my podcast of the same name, then in a Stutter Social hangout and in person at the National Stuttering Association conference in 2012. Along with about 200 of our fellow stutterers in the community, we’ve been friends ever since. Two audiences, different languages Since our target audience will be the francophone stuttering and speech language pathologist communities, we will be running what is somewhat a bilingual campaign. One of the best practices for running a successful crowdfunding campaign is to first tap into your existing network of friends, family, associates, etc. Both Jean-François and I are active in the English speaking stuttering community but would they be interested in funding a version of my book written in a language which most of them do not understand? Fortunately, Jean-François also hangs out in the francophone stuttering community where the wishes of a French version of my book emerged. He will be helping me connect with our online francophone audience. Thus, our campaign will naturally be in French. However, we shouldn’t...

Google+ Hangouts On Air tips!

My guest blog post for The Community Manager is up! I share ten of my best practices when hosting a live Q&A Google+ Hangout on Air. As well as continuing my tradition of offering a custom illustration to go with the post. Check it out! The Community Manager is a great resource for anyone looking for best practices in engaging an online community no matter which social network or tool you use. Contributions by community managers eveyrwhere and now, me! Be sure to join in on their #CMGRchat every Wednesday at 2pm Toronto/New York time on Twitter.  Just follow the hash tag and jump right...

NASA putting the social back in social media

Knowing how to keep enthusiasm going among followers is an important ingredient in community engagement. I participated in last week’s #cmgrchat (Twitter chat about community management hosted by thecommunitymanager.com) with the team behind some of NASA‘s many, many, many twitter accounts (over 250 of them); @Stephist (a.k.a. Stephanie L. Smith), @VeronicaMcG (a.k.a. Veronica McGregor) and @CourtOConnor (a.k.a. Courtney O’Connor). It was a Q & A style twitter chat. The @NASA Twitter account has 2.8 million, @MarsCuriosity 1.1 million (from 800,000 within its first week of existence), @AsteroidWatch with over 900,000. Excitement within the community management, um, community on Twitter was a buzz, I mean all a-twitter, with excitement of learning the secrets behind the space agency’s success. A summary of the twitter chat will be posted on The Community Manager’s website. Meanwhile, here are my take-aways: 1. With over 250 Twitter accounts across NASA, this allows their voice to be more targeted towards various audiences. Reminds me of Google+’s circles feature. 2. Their strategy for building community is based upon increasing understanding and enthusiasm in space exploration and exposing “newbies to the things that made us fall in love with space exploration.” 3. They also host in-person #NASASocial events at various NASA centers to keep the social in social media. Attendees are selected randomly and these events often coincide with major missions. They also give citizen journalists access to @NASA facilities & teams to share online. “[It] Remind[s] us all of the humans behind the missions & followers“, said @Stephist. In fact, the first #NASASocial event was a way to thank ambassadors engaged with the @MarsPhoenix mission. Participant, @TheMiddle, a.k.a Darryl...

I’ll be talking community building on 49Pixels Live

I’ll be on 49Pixels Live with my friend, Dr. Vibe, next week. Hosted by digital media and entrepreneur aficionados, Justin Kozuch and Lindsay Munro, 49Pixels Live is a weekly podcast about technology, digital marketing and entrepreneurship with guests who are industry experts, thought leaders and influential voices in digital media. Dr. Vibe and I will be talking about how we used digital media tools to build and empower our respective non-mainstream communities, stutterers and young black men. You can listen live on Tuesday, June 26th at 8:00pm EST at 49pixels.tv. It’s an interactive show so you will be able to send us your questions on Twitter by tweeting @49pixels or other options listed on their site (just underneath the about section). The broadcast will also be available for download as an episode of the 49 Pixels...