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Posts tagged ‘community manager’


Your Maintenance Page Needs Maintenance

As a community manager, you’re always looking for ways to improve the user experience, upgrade the platform and implement enhancements when and where it makes sense. No problem. Being the great project manager that you are, everything is organized and documented. But I have to ask, after all that hard work to ensure a seamless member experience, when was the last time you looked at your maintenance page? After all, your online community maintenance page is what members will see when your site is brought is down to deploy those changes.

Black and white hammerIt’s a small detail, but a necessary detail to provide continuous uninterrupted service to your members.

If you’re standing up a branded community, your maintenance page should reflect the same theme and associated logos. This is a very important point if your company has gone though a rebrand or launched a new product.

Even more important, the contact info displayed on the maintenance page should be current for obvious reasons.

So, when was the last time your maintenance page was updated?

Photo credit: justinbaeder

Community Guidelines: A Living Breathing Document

Community Guidelines; a Living Breathing Document

Your online community has launched and registrations are growing at a very satisfactory pace. It’s extremely active with several 100 posts a day and everything is peachy. Time to sit back and relax right? Heck no! One thing you should know, there’s no relaxing as a community manager. Don’t rest on your laurels and never let your guard down. There is a cost with being a large successful community. You become a target.

Spammers, hackers and solicitors alike are becoming savvier each and every day.  You have to take pro-active/pre-cautionary measures to protect the integrity of your online community and its members. Read more »


Community Management from Afar

I follow quite a few community managers and social media strategists from Europe, most notably in the U.K. In fact, Europeans account for over 30% of the traffic to this blog.

BinocularsOver the last couple months, I’ve noticed that my Twitter feed has been slowly [yet steadily] taken over by job postings for community manager roles in Europe. I don’t have the growth rates for community management roles in Europe compared to that of the United States, but it seems the demand for community managers in European countries is high, very high. It’s great to see actually. It means the community manager role is growing on a global scale and will be here for the long-term. Aaaahhh job security!

I have no plans to uproot, but it got me thinking; can you manage an online community from another country, or continent for that matter, and be successful? We work in a telecommuting world these days. Not sitting in corporate headquarters or in a satellite office is not unheard of.  But separated by a body of water like the Atlantic Ocean, several time zones, a stranger to local customs, and very little [if at all] face time with customers and internal stakeholders seems like a near impossible feat.

So, my question to you is, do you think a community manager can live in another country and still deliver a successful experience to members? Who is doing this well today? Would you do it yourself?

Photo Credit: Joelk75


The Demand for Community Managers in Gaming Conferences

The PAX East 2011 festival kicks off in Boston, MA this Friday March 11 and runs through Sunday March, 13th. Normally held at the Hynes Convention Center, it now has a new venue, The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

PAX East is a three-day game festival for tabletop, videogame, and PC gamers. It’s called a festival because in addition to dedicated tournaments and free-play areas, there are concerts, panel discussions, and an exhibitor hall filled with booths displaying the latest from top game publishers and developers.

PAX East 2011You’re probably thinking, “That’s all well and good Dan, but why should I f#^@*+g care?” Good question. And I’ll explain as long as you refrain from further use of such profanity.

As I illustrated before in my Community Managers of the Gaming Industry post, there are quite a few parallels and overlap between enterprise community managers like me and my gaming counterparts. The festival schedule further confirms just how similar we are.

Just take a look at these track sessions and their respective abstracts:

Online Gaming Communities and “Real Life” Relationships – Are you are a member of one or more online gaming website communities? Perhaps the friendships and relationships you formed online have made their way into your everyday “real life”. You are certainly not alone. We will discuss the communities we have created and support, and how they impact real life relationships for gamers of all types.

What the Heck is a Community Manager? – What the heck is a community manager? What does he or she do? Why are there a growing number of community management positions at publishers and development studios? We’ll talk to the industry’s leading group of community managers about their jobs, how they got where they are, how they actually “manage” the “community,” and how they influence the games their studios make and the people who play them.

How Your Favorite Game Companies Use Facebook – Like this. Like that. Facebook has taken the world by storm and has become a crucial platform for community managers and companies to help keep in touch with and grow their online communities. With the constant evolution of social media and Facebook in particular, you may not know some of the cool things happening on your favorite game studio’s Facebook page. Join Collin Moore (Community Management Vet) as he moderates a discussion with community managers from across the game industry (Insomniac Games, Playfish/EA, Harmonix, and Robot Entertainment), about the importance of Facebook to game companies, and how pressing the “LIKE” button is just the beginning.

A Reverse Q&A with the Harmonix Community Team – The Harmonix Community Team spends a good part of their day answering questions about Rock Band and Dance Central on forums, in emails and on camera… but what happens when the tables are turned and they’re given free reign to question a captive audience in a PAX panel? Part focus group and part interrogation, this panel turns the traditional notion of a Q&A on its head, giving community members the opportunity to answer questions submitted by developers. You may be wonder: “What kind of questions will be asked?” and “Do attendees answer individually or as a collective?” and “Will this be a disaster?” Continue to wonder, because the Harmonix folks aren’t dishing out any answers, only questions.

Community: Some Assembly Required and Batteries Definitely Not Included – Building a community around games takes work and may be a little rough around the edges — just like this session! But stick with it and you’ll find yourself in the middle of one of the most fun and most vocal communities around. Come discuss how to build a following, how to find your own voice, success stories, what Xbox LIVE is doing to build community, and how you can try to work with the “big guys”, with Xbox LIVE Community Manager Eric “DMZilla” Doty. There is no instruction booklet for Community, but there are plenty of ways to start your journey. Possibility of PowerPoint and FREE stuff.

The Road to Becoming a Community Manager – Based on the great feedback we received after this panel at PAX Prime, we’ve decided to do it again! East-Coast Style. You hear us on podcasts, see us in videos, read our blogs on websites, retweet us, argue with us on forums, and give us high fives at PAX. But have you ever wondered how we became community managers? From games journalism to forum moderation to public policy and QA, every road is different. Find out the random history of some of your favorite game studio community managers, and hear their advice on what skills and knowledge you’ll need to become one of gaming’s next-generation of community managers.

Game Marketing & Community Management Roundtable – Role-specific roundtables will consist of top game artists, designers, community managers, and marketing professionals. Each roundtable will be structured into four sections focusing on roles/responsibilities, personal history, career paths, and hot topics/issues.

I will be in attendance and will be sitting in on as many of these sessions as I can. Are you attending PAX East this year? Connect with me for a meetup. If not, is there anything you want me to check out for you?  I plan on following up with a post-festival blog post and can share everything my brain was able to absorb.


2011 Boston Community Manager Appreciation Day

Boston skyline from the banks of the Charles River in CambridgeYesterday was the 2nd annual Community Manager Appreciation Day, or CMAD. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this “holiday,” it is a day where we recognize and celebrate the efforts of community managers around the world that use social networks to connect with customers and improve upon those relationships. CMAD is held every 4th Monday in January. Check out the Wiki entry for the “official” word (Reading that last sentence, looks like an oxymoron to me, but I’ll leave it in).

Boston’s CMAD was held at the Asgard in Cambridge, right across the Charles River. I arrived fashionably late (Not by choice, parking is not fun over there). Walking in to the restaurant, I immediately notice how community managers share the same mannerisms. They whip out their iPhone’s and Blackberry’s and check-in on Foursquare. What does this tell me? Community managers practice what they preach. They have a willingness to share their experiences with friends and even complete strangers.

It was a fun and non-threatening atmosphere. Drinks, appetizers and raffles; a winning combo.

Although CMAD is celebrated around the world, it was great to meet community managers that live close by and share experiences in person. Hearing how other companies are leveraging online communities and how community managers are constantly overcoming challenges in their roles, makes it all worth while. It’s makes it that much more fun to be part of something where everyone is excited to be there. I met some great [smart] people and I hope this tradition continues. All in all, a networking opportunity that should not be passed up.

If you want to lean more about this year’s CMAD, here are few resources. Will I see you next year?

BosCMAD 2011 on Flickr

#boscmad Twitter stream

Jeremiah Owyang – Wrap Up of 2nd Annual Community Manager Day: Voices Around the World #CMAD