How useful is the Community Manifesto for organisations?


Included below is the Community Manifesto created recently at SXSW, but how useful is it for your organisation? For example, how well does it support emerging new forms of community management, such as ‘employee advocacy‘?

And here’s some real community managers at the event talking about what it is to be a community manager:

The Pinterest approach to community management


Having just signed up to the fast growing super-popular Pinterest it was interesting to see my initial email from the team included a neat summary of their community guidelines, what they call their ‘etiquette’. It takes a lot of hard work to boil it down to a list of 3 simple bullet points, but it obviously works. When community guidelines are so important to help manage a community, and create a creative culture online the value of getting them right shouldn’t be under-estimated. What are the top 3 guidelines for your community?

You’re in!

I’m excited to invite you to join Pinterest, a social catalog. I can’t wait to have you join our little community.

To create your Pinterest account, click the link below and push the blue “FB Connect” button. You can also join with Twitter.

Pinterest Etiquette: Try to…

  • Be Nice!
  • Be Creative. The best pinboards mix products, art, recipes and images from all across the web. Try not to pin everything from a single source.
  • Give Credit. If you blog about an item you found on Pinterest, it’s nice to credit your fellow pinners by linking back to the original pin.

If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at or follow us on twitter @pinterest. We also have an iPhone app.

Happy pinning!

- Ben & the Pinterest Team


Online marketing organization structure question?

As a more crowdsourced way of answering this question on the G Plus community on the best team structure to launch an online community I got few replies from community managers on this question – I hope that’s useful. Certainly (2) looks worth a glance;-)

That’s an interesting question which one rarely gets chance to reflect upon, as usually that set up is already in place. Taking advantage of the ability to plan the team structure I would cross-check your strategy by looking at how you meet your aggressive targets by looking at it from the end customer point of view. For example take an example like Zappos where the customer care people have a dual role of dealing with direct customer issues by phone but also reflecting on activity through their social media activity as a way of reaching out to existing and potential customers. If I was a customer of your new community therefore I wouldn’t care if I spoke to the engagement person or the acquisition person I just want to know that I am valued and for that to be evidence in my online relationships within the community – for example when I feedback a suggestion about a possible improvement to the community that it is publicly reflected upon by the community staff and acted upon if it meets your cost/benefit objectives.

Some years ago I managed the department handling community and customer facing roles for a company with a rapidly expanding website and customer / reader base and few budget constraints.
We adopted a strategy of aiming to avoid having conflicting demands on each member of the department. We divided the department into teams based on the source of pressure. So we had:
– a team who responded to customer email their targets included real-time response to customer email where possible
– a team dealing with discussion moderation who responded to reports and requests from discussion board users, their targets included real-time response to discussion board problems
– a team who seeded content between discussion boards and editorial content, their targets incorporated rolling editorial deadlines through-out the day

It worked very well.

Community first. Commerce second. Good conversations create transactions.
Oh. And re-read

Hmmm – The terms being used sound very process/tech focused rather than community member-focused.
I’d suggest having a team with a “infrastructure” component (that focuses on platform, channels, process mgt) and a “segment/subcommunity” component (that focuses on serving particular groups of members).

But there are many ways of doing things.

Also – goals. I’d like to submit that you can’t really move forward on any online community campaign without recognizing the goals and reasons behind
your campaign. Is it to drive sales? Drive traffic? Raise awareness?
Knowing your goals helps to put the right people in place.

Essential online community blog posts of 2009


My blog posts of 2009, from how to reward top contributors to discussion about community metrics to grow your community, bullet pointed for you below. Here’s to a successful 2010 with more thoughts on online community, & with a special eye out for enterprises investing in communities for their employees (and what that might mean for internal communication professionals).

Online Community Expert Interview: Ron Casalotti, BusinessWeek


Q: What are the 3 key lessons you have learned from the process of “activating” the BusinessWeek community via Business Exchange

1. You cannot “manage” community, you need to participate in the conversation and engage your community members on a personal level
2. You need to engage your users wherever they may be socializing on the Web – not just on your site – and so we are active on Twitter (@bwbx) as well as LinkedIn (more on that below)
3. That business oriented users of our site act just like others social media participants do, with clear Key Influencers, Active and Passive users

Full piece here.

John Pearce explains the ICAEW’s ion community plans


I like the point where John says: “It’s a learning curve,and a cultural change, and (in response to a question from Dennis Howlett) …we are not frightened to fail”.

Interesting to see how it’s developing after my involvement working as community manager from December 07 to January 09 to help set up the ion communities. Nice indicator of popularity that 1,500 folk have joined the top level community which is essentially an entry page; I guess they all get an invitation or e-newsletter to follow that up marketing wise.

With CIMA about to launch it’s own global community in the next few months, I wonder if ACCA will follow suit with its own initiative?

Facebook for suits?


Instructions for the pefect online community strategy review:

First read recent Economist piece titled ‘Facebook for suits’.

Then consider  the risks involved in setting up an online community (many will fail).

Finally, reflect on why community/social networking sites are missing their mark (mark to market, pun intended).