Month: February 2012

Quick Reminder

February 14, 2012Comments Off on Quick Reminder

You have one week remaining to sign up for The Pillar Summit's Professional Community Management course.

The course features: 

  • 100,000+ words of written material.
  • A library of case studies.
  • Weekly live (and recorded lessons).
  • Expert guest speakers.
  • Weekly themed problem-solving discussions.
  • Our proven templates and resources package.
  • Extensive one-to-one coaching to resolve your specific community problems.
  • Access to a range of proven, academic, literature.
  • Assignments and feedback. 

By the end of this course you will know how to build and manage a thriving online community for your organization. 

You also get to watch us in action. What do we do to initiate discussions, keep people participating, develop a platform, organize events etc…

We also offer a full-refund gaurantee. If you're not happy, you can get all your money back.

You can find more information here:

Understanding Conceptualization: The Process You Go Through Before You Launch An Online Community

February 13, 2012Comments Off on Understanding Conceptualization: The Process You Go Through Before You Launch An Online Community

Everything between the moment you establish the objectives and the moment you begin doing outreach to your members is the conceptualization phase.

This is when you decide who you're targeting, what the community will be about, what type of community it will be, and how you get it going. 

If you get the community concept wrong, nothing else you do matters. A community can't overcome a terrible concept. A community about something that isn't a really strong interest can't possibly succeed. Too many communities are created for by organizations for customers to talk about their products.


The Conceptualization Phase

Conceptualization is a phase, a process…it takes time. It's not a series of instant decisions to be made in a meeting one afternoon. It's a steady process of testing ideas, analyzing the audience, and understanding the community ecosystem.

Organizations make many common mistakes at this phase. They make the community about their brands, products, or service – as opposed to making the community about their audience and a strong common interest. 

Some questions you will want to answer here include:


1) Identify the target audience

In the beginning, you need an extremely focused target audience. You're aiming to get a fewer number of members who share a stronger common interest. 

You're looking for at least two-qualifiers. You want a community for {who} who are {qualifier 2}. This qualifier will be a demographic, habit, or psychographic. So it will be a community for people that {purchase product} who also {believe in…}.

This demographic is identified by understanding the strong common interest. You can't ascertain that strong common interest without interacting with members of that target audience. 

If your target audience doesn't already talk about the topic online, then you have the wrong topic. During this phase you should also have an extensive understanding about the strong common interest. 


2) Determine the type of community

Will it be a community of place, practice, interest, action, or circumstance? 

Don't default to a community of interest. This is the most competitive. It's easier to build a community of place or action. There aren't many things we're interested in. You can make it a community of people who want to change something in the world, or a community for people who live in a certain location and use a product/service. 

Review the existing ecosystems. Make sure that yours is the only one of its kind. This might be achieved solely through selecting a unique 

Use a different type of community, unique personality etc…


3) Positioning

If a community like this already exists, the positioning becomes important. The type of community can help, but so does have a unique tone of voice, unique goal or unique benefit.

The positioning problem will not be solved by technology. People wont join a community because it offers picture-sharing. Having a better platform doesn't help you much here. What helps is a social-related change. Targeting unique groups, being exclusive, unique tone of voice/personality etc…


4) Benefit

What will be the benefit to people from participating in the community?

Will members learn about a topic? Will they become an expert? Will get receive attention for their expertise? These self-interest related benefits do better than utopian statements of connecting, making friends, sharing your knowledge etc…

The only way to understand the benefit a community needs is to be deeply embedded within the ecosystem. This means speaking directly to members of the target audience. Don't avoid this. You need to identify what people want.


5) Unique environment

Now we need to conquer the amateur-competition problem. Amateurs can always do things that you can't. They can criticise your brand, for example. You need to use your resources to configure an exclusive environment.

This will mean providing exclusive news, unique information, introducing your contacts, have your employees participating etc…


6) What will members do in the community?

What will community members talk about? What are the major topics to build discussions, events, activities, relationships, and growth around? Gather data on your audience's current habits and from other trade press to identify the major topics here. 

Have a very clear idea of what the general themes are going to be in the opening stages of the community and a plan for testing/refining what works best. 

If you want to learn more, sign up for our on-demand course, How to Start an Online Community.

Too Much Activity

February 12, 2012Comments Off on Too Much Activity

Let's go back to WarriorCats for a second.

17.6m posts. 

14m of them are in off-topic discussions.

These discussions range from "I have a headache" to "do you have imaginary friends?". 

If you look closely, you notice that the majority of these discussions are no more than a sentence or two. The speed of response is a matter of seconds. The number of responses vary wildly. 

Why is this important? 

Because these discussion appear on the forum for no more than a few minutes. They get pushed down by even newer discussions the second they're posted.

If people are only sending single messaging to each other, repeatedly, at that speed, we have a better channel for this; a chat room. 

It reduces the burden inherent in forum post discussiosn, allows people to communicate quicker, and increases the level of social presence. 

When your members begin to use the forum as a chat room, it's time to introduce the chat room.

If you want to learn more, enroll in the Pillar Summit’s Professional Community Management course.


Free Video – Learn An Entirely New Way To Approach Community Management

February 11, 2012 Comments Off on Free Video – Learn An Entirely New Way To Approach Community Management

This week, I gave a webinar to 100 students on The Pillar Summit's Professional Community Management mailing list (you should join).

The webinar was designed to change the way we approach community management. 

We covered:

  • Why most community managers waste 80% of their day. 
  • A completely new approach to online community management that every community manager can embrace.
  • Proven techniques that keep people engaged and participating.
  • What you need to do at every stage of the community lifecycle. 
  • How to gain and measure the ROI of an online community. 

You can view the full video here:

The feedback we received was incredible. We hope you enjoy it. 

If you want to learn more, enroll in the Pillar Summit’s Professional Community Management course.

We have weekly live lessons, a library of case studies, 100,000+ words of written material incredible guest speakers, access to key academic journals, template scripts/documents, and unlimited access to our consultancy support. 


Platforms And Younger Audiences

February 10, 2012Comments Off on Platforms And Younger Audiences

Some say that younger audiences wont use forums. 

Forums are old. Outdated. They don't look great. 

I disagree.

Just look at communities like WarriorCats; a community for 8 to 14 year olds. It has 17.6m posts from 64,396 members. 

If you can find another platform that racks up these figures, then be sure to use it. Until you can, I'd look at forums as still the best, most cost-effective, and most popular platforms for developing successful communities for all audiences. 

If you're not using the best platform for developing a community, you should have a good reason. 

Case Study: Shoemocracy (A new online community about shoes)

February 8, 2012Comments Off on Case Study: Shoemocracy (A new online community about shoes)

Shoemocracy recently launched an online community for shoe lovers. 

It makes for a good case study about the interplay between the elements of social psychology and platform design.

So if Shoemocracy was a client, this is what we would tell them:

Screen shot 2012-02-06 at 09.29.57


The Concept

A community for shoelovers is ok, but it's competitive. It's a community of interest. There are a LOT of communities about shoes out there. It's competing against fashion communities, sportswear communities and a variety of other shoe niches. Generalist sites will never beat the niches. 

They should apply Ramit's two-qualifier rule. A community for shoelovers {qualifier 1} who  who … {qualifier 2}

This 'qualifier 2' should be either a demographic qualifier (young shoelovers, old shoelovers, shoelovers in San Francisco, budget-shoeshoppers etc…), a habit qualifier (who who love to go clubbing, who are shopaholics) or a psychographic qualifier (who believe in recyled materials, who hate shopping malls, are introverts etc…). 

In the conceptualization phase you deliberately narrow down the total target audience to better resonate with a specific audience. The more relevant your community is to that audience, the more successful it will be. 

They should also consider changing the community from one of interest (which is highly competitive) to one of the other types of community (place, action, practice, or circumstance). A community of practice for example for people that are actively hunting out the best shoes in their town/city. You need to stress the benefit and tickle the motivation of your target audience.

They also miss the benefit. Connecting with others only works when we care about the others. We need something more tangible here.

e.g. Find the next mainstream shoes…become the shoe-maestro (?) in your town, get advice from experts on what shoes to wear and when to wear them, promote rare shoe designs. 

Don't overlook the importance of getting this conceptualization phase right.


The Platform

Everything is hidden behind a registration page. Not only do you kill your search juice, you also repel most of your visitors. What could possibly be so sensitive about shoes that it can't be discussed out in the open? 

The activity of your community is your greatest promotional asset. Don't waste it by hiding it between a registration wall. Display the latest activity on the homepage to unregistered members. 

* It's also best to avoid the marketing fibs. We all know that a community which has just launched can't be the 'hottest shoe community'. 


Screen shot 2012-02-08 at 09.32.49

Beyond registration the platform isn't terrible. It's different from most communities, in that it's not based around a forum pages, but that's ok. Shoes are graphic. However, this ignores the rules of landing pages.

Landing pages need to shoe what's new, what's popular, who's new, and who's popular. 

This solely shows what's new. It doesn't show which shoes are the most popular. It also doesn't allow for a content/news page. Or make it easy for people to interact with each other. 

Having a tab for popular shoes is good, but not enough. Most people are lazy. They don't click on the popular tabs. You need to shoe it for them.

This would benefit greatly from regular content such as 'shoe of the week', or 'shoe hunter of the week', interviews with top members, and showing the most popular shoes in a different area. There needs to be a greater narrative around this community than what we see here.

At the moment, a lot of the narrative has been outsourced to a Facebook page. 


To gain a high conversion rate, people need to identify something to participate in before registering to join. 

Converting Newcomers Into Regulars

Like most communities, Shoemocracy makes the mistake of directing newcomers to fill out their profile when they first join. 


Screen shot 2012-02-06 at 09.18.45


This is a mistake.

The absolute first thing you want a newcomer to your community to do is participate in something interacting. You want them to enter your notification cycle

Once someone has registered, the very next page should be to a topical discussion they you think they can participate in, or a major event/activity/popular shoe they can give their opinion on right now. You can change this page on a regular basis to keep it fresh. 

They also don't use any welcoming e-mails, greeting from the community manager or provide any other means of learning more about the community. Here you want people to begin to buy in to the community identity. So an e-mail about the greatest shoes to ever appear on the site, isn't a bad idea. Or an e-mail with top tips or recommendations for finding great pictures of shoes, works well too. 

Anything here that helps better explain the culture of the community is useful. 


Tone and Language

Throughout this platform it feels like the copy has been written by a marketing flunky than by a member of their target audience. Which is strange as the founder (Patrick) is such a huge fan of shoes. 

The words you use and your tone of voice matter a lot. They help shape the community identity. People need to decide whether to accept or reject that community when they join the community. It needs to appeal to them.

At the moment (and with the caveat of wearing trainers which are 6 years old), I doubt this appeals to shoe lovers. You need to use their language. You need to speak to the target audience directly and identify their symbols. You then use these symbols within the copy of your site and when interacting with members.



There seems to be a lack of active community management on the site. Many of the posts about shoes receive no response at all. There is no clear narrative to follow. New members aren't welcomed to the community. There is very little to shoe that the community is being actively managed.

The focus at the moment appears to be on developing the technology further, and not the people in the community.


Inception Stage Activities

This is a community in the inception phase of the community lifecycle. It's just getting started. At this stage, you want to hold back on your promotional assets. You want to focus on directly inviting people to join and participate in the community. You want to master how to keep people engaged and sustain high levels of participation. 

Over time, as the community becomes self-sustaining, then you can move on to the promotional activities. But at the moment, make sure you're spending your time on the correct activities and plan your week accordingly.


If you want to learn more, enroll in the Pillar Summit’s Professional Community Management course. We have weekly live lessons, a library of case studies, incredible guest speakers, access to key academic journals, template scripts/documents, and unlimited access to our consultancy support. 

Applications close on February 20

The Pillar Summit – One More Thing

February 7, 2012Comments Off on The Pillar Summit – One More Thing

You have 2 weeks remaining to register for The Pillar Summit's Professional Community Management Master-Class.

Registration closes on Feb 20.

There is one thing we haven't yet mentioned about the course.

In addition to over 100,000 words of written material, a library of case studies, weekly recorded lessons, incredible guest speakers, access to key academic journals, template scripts/documents, and problem-based live discussions, we're offering something even more valuable.

Unlimited access to FeverBee consulting. 

During the course participants will receive constant coaching from us about how to develop their specific communities.

You can ask us any question at any time. We will coach you at each stage through the development process. You have unlimited use of our time. We will explain what you need to do and how to do it.

Not just to any community, but to your specific community. 

This is a service we've previously only offered to a relatively exclusive number of consulting clients (at a significantly higher fee). 

If you want the details about the course, click here:

Establishing The Value Of Online Communities

February 6, 2012Comments Off on Establishing The Value Of Online Communities

If I asked you how much your community is worth, could you tell me?

Most community managers can't.

These same community managers will then complain they don't get the attention or support they need. 

If you're not getting the attention or support you need, it's your fault. You're not properly establishing the value of your community. 

You have to talk about your community in value-based terms. 

You can't establish value if you don't talk about the value.

Ultimately, your community must have do one of three things.

  1. Increase sales.
  2. Reduce costs.
  3. Fulfill your mission (non-profits).

When you increase sales or reduce costs, profits rise and shareholders are happy. 

You need to link what your community to one of these three goals. If you can't, your community is worthless. It's entirely possible to have a very successful, but ultimately worthless, community. 

Once your organization works that out, they'll rightly stop supporting the community. You need to make sure all stakeholders understand the value of your community. 

For example, if you're building an internal online community, you need to talk about how it increases productivity, lowers attrition, increases innovation or improves morale. You can connect all of these to reduced costs or higher sales.

If you're building a customer community, you need to talk about how it increases repeat sales, improves loyalty, generates amazing new product ideas. 

If you're building a client community, talk about sales leads generated, new services developed to match identified needs and referrals gained. 

Measure the value, not the actions

This means you need to measure the value, not the actions.

The number of members, fans, and activity within the community are irrelevant to your organization. You measure growth, engagement and development to understand the community's health. That's your job. Those metrics are critical for you.

You measure the value to understand it's worth to the organization. These metrics are critical to your organization. If your community isn't generating good value, your organization should cancel the community. 

Once you connect the community to the value it offers, you can determine what value it's delivering. Remember, value isn't just what it's achieved so far, it's the value of what it could achieve in future years.

Lets take a simplified example.

Lets image you run a community which sells skis. You create a skiing community. You have 15,000 active members over the year and you establish, through systematic sampling  techniques, they now spend 15% more than they did before they joined the community.

If they used to spend $300 per year, they now spend $345. That's $45 extra per member and approximately $675,000 additional revenue per annum in the community. This is a defensible figure. 

Once you establish your community is generating an extra $675,000 per year in sales, how will your organization will treat you then? Might it be easier to ask for a budget to hire additional community managers, develop the platform? Take professional community management training?


Value of recruitment communities

Here's another example.

Imagine you sell a recruitment product/service. You might set up a community for HR professionals with a view to understanding your audience, making connections and generating sales leads. 

You set up a community, get people to join, write content, host events etc…

Through getting to know members, you begin understanding your audience and generating sales opportunities. 

In the first year you might generate 7 sales of your product. If your product sales for £15,000, that's a potential £105,000 in value.

This doesn't include future years, longer-term engagements, greater efficiency (getting better at networking) and referrals. This could easily double or triple the value of your community over a matter of years.

Suddenly you're not a low-level community manager, you're responsible for driving a tremendous amount of value.


Value of Non-Profit Communities

Here's a final example. 

Let's imagine you manage an online community for a non-profit. 

You don't have a financial motive, you need to fulfill your mission. 

If you run a cancer support site, as two participants on the previous Pillar Summit course did, you need to assess the value of your community. 

You might survey members before and after they join. After a period of time you can ascertain they feel 60% happier with your organization, have 20% less cancer-related problems etc…

Again, you're no longer the community manager minion, you're the person responsible for executing a bulkwark of your organization's mission. 

Don't wait for the value question to arise

Don't wait for someone to question the value of your community. Get ahead of the question. Establish the value today.

Ask about the value on your first day on the job. If it's low, then it's your job to make it better. If it's high, then you have a level of authority to get things done. 

If your company doesn't know the value, make it your mission to establish it. Show your organization that you speak their language. Show your organization you're committed to establishing value.

One of the biggest challenges we face is changing the concept of community management. We need to change it from the person that moderates facebook discussions to a clear value-adding discipline. 

Make sure everyone knows that your community is one of the most respected value-producing assets you have…because it probably is. 

If you want to learn more, enroll in the Pillar Summit’s Professional Community Management course. Applications close on February 20. 

Inception -vs- Maturity

February 3, 2012Comments Off on Inception -vs- Maturity

Some community managers trick themselves. 

They think their community is in the maturity phase. It's really in the inception phase.

Progress through the community lifecycle isn't dictated by the sole metric of registered members.

It's dictated by growth (number of members whom have made a contribution over the past 30 days), engagement (quantity of contributions per member), and sense of community (do members feel like they're part of a community?).

A community with 10,000 members and limited levels of participation isn't in the maturity phase, it's in the inception phase. 

You shouldn't be working at the macro level. You shouldn't be spending your time tweaking the platform, soliciting volunteers, going for big promotional hits, or trying to steer the overall direction of the community. This only works when you have an active, engaged, community. 

Your community has regressed to the inception phase (or never left it).

You work at the micro level. You initiate discussions and individually message a handful of members at a time to participate. You reach out to people and invite them to join. You focus on getting a few discussions going, then a few more. You organize an event or two. 

Over time, you begin to see activity pick up. Then you see engagement increase. Members build relationships with each other. The sense of community increases. Soon, you'll be in the establishment phase. 

Registration is now open for The Pillar Summit's Professional Community Management course. This is an advanced, online, course which will equip you with the skills, knowledge and resources to be a world-class community manager. Click here for more information.

How To Build An Online Community: The Ultimate List Of Resources (2012)

February 2, 2012 Comments Off on How To Build An Online Community: The Ultimate List Of Resources (2012)

This is a collection of my favourite and most popular posts from the last five years. It should give you a great overview about both the strategy and the process of creating an online community from scratch.

The Online Community Basics

  1. A Primer About Successful Online Communities
  2. The 11 Fundamental Laws of Online Communities
  3. Building An Online Community: How You Start With 0 Members
  4. How Do You Build An Online Community?
  5. 7 Contrary Truths About Online Communities
  6. Don’t Start A Community For Any Of These Reasons
  7. Basics Community Building Principles
  8. What Is An Online Community?
  9. Different Types Of Communities
  10. The 4 Fundamental Things A Community Provides Its Members

Strategy & Planning

  1. The Map: A Proven Process For Developing Successful Online Communities
  2. How To Develop Your Community Management Strategy
  3. How To Write A Practical Online Community Plan
  4. Setting Objectives For Your Online Community
  5. Settings Targets For Your Online Community
  6. Starting An Online Community? First Get The Concept Right
  7. Planning For A Big Online Community?
  8. How Big Should Your Community Be?
  9. The Online Community Ecosystem
  10. Which Communities Tend To Succeed?
  11. Big Launch Syndrome: Don't Faill Victim To This
  12. Why Will People Participate In Your Online Community?
  13. Getting The Appeal Right
  14. A Simple Formula For A Successful Online Community
  15. Audience Analysis In Online Communities
  16. Base Your Online Community Around Real People
  17. How To Position Your Online Community
  18. The Importance Of Developing A Strong Community Identity
  19. Don’t Target The Wrong People
  20. How To Make An Accurate Membership Projection
  21. Naming Your Online Community
  22. 12 Ways To Doom Your Community Before You Launch
  23. A 3-month Pre-Launch Strategy
  24. The Assets Businesses Need To Develop Successful Communities
  25. Don't Dilute The Community Identity

Building An Online Community Website

  1. Test Before You Invest
  2. How To Design Your Online Community
  3. 20 Things That Should Be Included In Every Online Community Website
  4. The Perfect Landing Page
  5. 8 Overlooked Elements Every Online Community Should Have
  6. A Radical Change In Our Approach To Community Platforms
  7. Developing Forum Communities
  8. Easy Ways To Add Value To Your Online Community
  9. The Toolbox Of Community Reputation Systems
  10. A Simple Reputation System
  11. Pick An Online Community Platform That Works
  12. Stopping Human Spammers
  13. 7 Things A Community Can Live Without
  14. The Problems With Incentives
  15. A Basic Online Community Wireframe
  16. Essential Elements Of Community Platforms
  17. The Notification Cycle
  18. The Case Against Facebook As A Community Platform
  19. Using Your Real Estate: A Quick Case Study
  20. Easy -vs- Difficult -vs- Impossible: Exporting Community Data
  21. Refine or Develop?
  22. Social Density In Online Communities

Launching An Online Community

  1. 5 Things Every New Online Community Should Focus On
  2. 20 Ways To Start An Online Community
  3. Never Wait For The Website To Be Ready
  4. Seeding Your Online Community
  5. Who Are You Trying To Reach?
  6. Who Do You Need At The Beginning?
  7. How To Find Your Community’s First Members
  8. The Founder Role In Starting A New Community
  9. Create An Easy Reason To Take A Small Step
  10. How Small Businesses can Launch Successful Online Communities
  11. Simple Steps To Creating An Online Community

Converting Newcomers Into Regulars

  1. How To Convert Newcomers Into Regular Members Of Your Online Community
  2. The Ultimate Welcome For Your Online Community’s Newcomers
  3. How To Keep Newcomers Hooked For 21 days
  4. Awesome Questions To Ask New Members Of Your Online Community
  5. Which Visitors Are Most Likely To Become Regulars?
  6. Create A Welcome Pack
  7. The Online Community Joining Process
  8. Optimize That First Contribution
  9. How To Help Members Overcome Their Fear Of Initiating Discussions

Growing Your Online Community

  1. Why People Aren’t Joining Your Online Community
  2. Create A Criteria
  3. Types Of Community Growth
  4. How To Get More People To Join Your Online Community
  5. Basic Tactics To Grow Your Online Community Without Any Promotion
  6. Target Clusters Of People At A Time
  7. How To Get Members To Invite Their Friends
  8. 3 Perfectly Acceptable Ways To Invite Someone To Join Your Online Community
  9. Growing From A Social Media Following To Small Groups
  10. How To Persuade Your Employees To Join Your Online Community
  11. How To Get The Best People To Join Your Online Community
  12. The Right And Wrong Way To Grow A Forum
  13. The Problem With Asking Members To Invite Friends
  14. A Free Invite With Every Purchase
  15. How To Convert Existing Contacts Into Active Community Members

Increasing Participation

  1. Why People Join And Participate In Online Communities
  2. A Brief Guide To Reaching Unbelievably High Levels Of Participation In Your Online Community
  3. Increasing Activity And Participation In A Community
  4. Creating A Sense Of Community
  5. Sustaining Long Term Participation In An Online Community
  6. The Basics Of Increasing Interactions In Any Online Community
  7. Why Members Participate: Fame, Money, Sex, Power
  8. A Few Quick And Simple Tips To Boost Activity In Your Online Community
  9. 4 Types Of Contributions You Want Your Members To Make
  10. The Only Way To Keep Everyone Active
  11. 20 Questions which Will Stimulate Activity In Your Online Community
  12. 7 Kinds Of Conversations That Always Stimulate Activity
  13. Concentrate Activity
  14. How To Find New Discussion Ideas For Your Online Community
  15. Simple Tactics To Encourage Your Members To Talk More
  16. 10 Simple Ideas To Increase Activity In Your Community
  17. 9 Ideas To Revive Your Stale Online Community
  18. Sense Of Ownership
  19. When You Have Lots Of Members But No Activity
  20. Epic Events
  21. How To Find Major Issues To Boost Activity And Unite Your Community
  22. Why People Stay In Your Online Community
  23. Create A Guide To Be A Top Member
  24. Trade Control For Participation
  25. What You Can Do To Make Your Community More Fun
  26. 8 Ways To Encourage Individual Contributions In Your Community
  27. The Benefits Of Off-Topic Conversations
  28. Open -vs- Closed Questions
  29. A Simple Way To Stimulate Interesting Discussions
  30. How To Make Your Online Community More Responsive

Managing an Online Community

  1. The 10 Principles Of Professional Community Management
  2. Building An Online Community Team: The 5 Roles You Must Fill
  3. High Value Community Management
  4. What Tasks Should Online Community Managers Prioritize?
  5. Community Management: Planning The Week
  6. Moderation Strategy
  7. Interact With Your Community Like A Human Being
  8. Attaining Power And Influence
  9. Hierarchy Of Communicating With Your Members
  10. Uniting Your Online Community: Creating Strong Ties
  11. The Art Of Forging Strong Friendships
  12. How To Subtly Influence Members Of Your Online Community
  13. How Many People Can You Really Look After?
  14. Creating Momentum
  15. The Personality Of Community Managers: A Few Tips
  16. A Brief Guide To Building Relationships With Your Top Members
  17. 10 Excellent Rewards You Can Offer Members
  18. Creating Titles For Members
  19. How To Use Transferrable Elements To Develop A Strong Sense of Community
  20. The Unlimited Supply Of Important Work You Need To Do
  21. The Small Simple Processes Which Make The Biggest Difference To Your Community
  22. How To Handle Troublemakers
  23. Finding Inspiration In Other Communities
  24. Reorganizing Your Forum
  25. Allocating Your Time As The Community Grows
  26. The Status Dilemma: Don't Bite The Hook
  27. 11 Processes For Scaling Online Communities
  28. Huge Online Communities: What Do You Work On Next?
  29. Resolving Problems
  30. Building Strong Relationships Between Members: A Few Practical Steps
  31. Removing A Provocating Member
  32. Why Fights Are So Important
  33. A Guide To Rewarding Members Of Your Community
  34. Never Reward Your Volunteers
  35. Community Guidelines
  36. The 24-Hour Response Rule
  37. 14 Events You Can Organize And Celebrate In Your Online Community
  38. What Would A Passionate Community Manager Do?
  39. Link Your Community Management Activities
  40. Member Lifetime Value


  1. The Secret To Awesome Content
  2. Converting Traditional Content Into Community Content
  3. Information Needs And Why Content-Driven Community Strategies Are Flawed
  4. The Problem With Great Content
  5. Writing Content That Bonds Your Online Community
  6. 20 Fantastic Content Ideas For Your Online Community
  7. The Power Of Exclusives
  8. Interviewing Members
  9. Every Online Community Needs A Local Newspaper
  10. An Online Community Newsletter Clinic


  1. Measuring An Online Community: Master Your Data To Gain An Unfair Advantage
  2. Measuring The ROI Of Online Communities
  3. Community Health Index
  4. Ace The Community ROI Question
  5. What Matters (and what doesn’t)
  6. This Wasn’t Part Of The Plan
  7. How To Check Your Community builder Is Doing As Promised
  8. A Faith Challenge
  9. Measuring DIY
  10. Proving Benefits Of Building A Community
  11. Me And You, Them And Us
  12. How To Spot Your Community Is In Trouble: 8 Red Flags
  13. The Huge ROI Of Small, Exclusive, B2B Communities


  1. The Definitive Guide To Monetizing Your Community
  2. Becoming A Community Intrapreneur
  3. 40 Ways To Make Money From Your Online Community
  4. The Pros And Cons Of Charging For Membership
  5. Community Souvenirs
  6. How To Give Sponsors Access To Your Online Community
  7. Integrating Your Community With Your Business

Branded Online Communities

  1. Never Let Your Company Start An Online Community
  2. 10 Things Organizations Should Be Comfortable With When They Launch A Community
  3. 12 Steps For Successful Online Communities
  4. Brands Must Use Their Unfair Advantage To Build Successful Communities
  5. A Case Study Of A Branded Onine Community
  6. Why Most Online Communities Shouldn’t Try To Create A Community
  7. Why Branded Communities Fail
  8. 6 Huge Advantages Big Organizations Have Over Amateur Community Builders
  9. A Requirement For Branded Online Communities
  10. Brands: Get The Benefits You Want Without Upsetting Members
  11. Common Branded Community Mistakes
  12. The Choice Most Brands Don't Know They Have
  13. The 2 Most Common Reasons Why Branded Communities Fail
  14. Decide Between These 2 Types Of Communities
  15. How Do Online Communities Make Your Business Money?
  16. Why Amateurs Build Better Online Communities Than Businesses
  17. Failed Corporate Communities
  18. Your Dream Online Community

Non-profits and Online Communities

  1. Fundraising From Online Communities
  2. What Non-Profits Need To Change


  1. The Slow And Steady Evolution Of A Successful Online Community
  2. 15 Examples Of Successful Online Communities
  3. 15 Ideas You Can Steal From The UK’s Best Community
  4. You Can Learn A Lot From This Wildly Successful Community
  5. The Best Online Community You Can Begin Today
  6. Case Study: How To Improve A Recently Launched Community
  7. Perhaps The Best Online Community I’ve Seen
  8. What Is A 'Successful' Community?
  9. The Genius Of Kotex's Community
  10. 10 Examples Of Great Online Communities
  11. A Great Example Of An Online Community
  12. Never Hire A Marketing Agency To Build Your Online Community
  13. A Great Example Of An Online Community
  14. Hampton People
  15. A Great Examples Of Game Mechanics In Online Communities
  16. The Usual Errors From The Big Brands
  17. Importants Lessons From A Failed Online Community
  18. A Lesson In Successful Communities
  19. The Evolution Of A Big Community Launch
  20. Stories, Clicks, and Relationships: The Sad Story of MetroTwin


  1. A Simple Example Of A Great Online Community
  2. 8 Brilliant Posts About Online Communities
  3. Essential Reading For Online Community Managers
  4. Forrester Wave Report


  1. How To Improve Any Online Community Without Spending A Penny
  2. Great Findings From Social Sciences Applied To Online Communities
  3. Creating A Community From Your Social Media Efforts
  4. The One Essential Task For Newly Hired Community Managers
  5. Rethinking How We Hire Community Managers
  6. The 7 Most Likely Ways Your Online Community Will End
  7. Struggling To Build An Online Community? Try This Easier Approach
  8. The Easiest Solutions To Your Community’s Biggest Problems
  9. 10 Steps To Building An Online Community In Your Spare Time
  10. 8 Ways To Merge Your Online Community With The Real World
  11. How To Revive Your Local Community
  12. How To Create Exclusive Online Communities
  13. 6 Social Psychology Hacks For Online Community Managers
  14. 5 Features Of Really Strong Online Communities You Can Embrace
  15. Searching For Online Communities
  16. The One Book Every Community Manager Should Read
  17. Rules For Growing A Group Of Insiders In Your Community
  18. Community Awards 2010
  19. Beyond Your Website
  20. What's Wrong With Community Management?

Reports & eBooks

  1. The 2011 State of Community Management Report
  2. Howard Reingold – The Virtual Community
  3. The State of Online Branded Communities
  4. The ROI of online customer service communities
  5. The Forrester Wave Report
  6. eModeration White Paper – Communities of Purpose
  7. Deloitte – 2009 Tribalization of Business Study
  8. Lithium – Community Health Index
  9. Radian6 – Building & Sustaining Brand Communities
  10. Jono Bacon – The Art of The Community
  11. Forrester – The ROI Online Support Communities

Websites & Assocations

  1. The Community Backchannel
  2. The Community Roundtable
  3. The OC Report
  4. e-Mint
  5. Facebook Community Manager Group
  6. Community Builders
  7. The Community Manager
  8. Online Community Managers
  9. The Community Management Group


  1. Alison Michalk
  2. Amy Sample Ward
  3. Angela Connor
  4. Blaise Grimes-Viort
  5. Community Roundtable
  6. Connie Benson
  7. Dawn Foster
  8. Dave Cayem
  9. Debra Askanase
  10. eModeration
  11. Eric Foster
  12. Holly Seddon
  13. Jake Mckee
  14. Jeremiah Owyang
  15. Jono Bacon
  16. Judi Huck
  17. Kirsten Wagenaar
  18. Laurel Papworth
  19. Lauren Klein
  20. Mario Ogneva
  21. Martin Reed
  22. Matt Rhodes
  23. Michael Norton
  24. Patrick O’Keefe
  25. Phil Wride
  26. Rachael Happe
  27. Sue on the web
  28. Ted & Rosie O'Neil
  29. UX Booth
  30. Vanessa Dimauro
  31. Vanessa Paech

Academic articles

  1. McMillan and Chavis (1985) Sense of Community
  2. Robin Hamman (1997)- Introduction to Virtual Communities Research and Cybersociology Magazine Issue Two
  3. Moore and Serva (2007) Understanding Member Motivation for Contributing to Different Types of Virtual Communities: A Proposed Framework,
  4. Williams and Cothrel (2004), Four smart ways to run online communities (Sloan Management Review, 2000)
  5. Bughin & Zeisser, (2001) The Marketing Scale Effectiveness of Virtual Communities
  6. Iriberri and Leroy (2009) A Life-Cycle Perspective on Online Community Success
  7. Ridings and Gefen (2004) Virtual Community Attraction: Why People Hang Out Online, JCMC 10 (1), Article 4
  8. Ardichvili, Page and Wentling (2003) Motivation and barriers to participation in Virtual knowledge-sharing communities of practice, Journal of Knowledge Management, 2003; 7,1
  9. Wang and Fesenmaier (2003) Understanding the Motivation of Contribution in Online Communities: An Empirical Investigation of an Online Travel Community, Electronic Markets, Vol 13, No 1.
  10. Sugiyama and Rothaermel (2001) Virtual internet communities and commercial success: individual and community-level theory grounded in the atypical case of, Journal of Management 27
  11. Sangwan , S (2005) Virtual community success: A uses and gratifications perspective
  12. Andrews, D.C (2002) Audience-specific online community design, Communications of the ACM, Vol 45, N. 4 
  13. Barab, S.A, MaKinster, J.G, Scheckler, R. (xxxx) Designing System Dualities: Characterizing An Online Professional Development Community 
  14. Baym, N.K. (2007) The new shape of online community: The example of Swedish independent music fandom, First Monday, Volume 12, Number 8 – 6 
  15. Stanoevska-Slabeva, K. (2002) Towards a Community-Orientated Design of Internet Platforms
  16. Arnold, Y. Leimeister, J.L, Krcmar, H. (2003) CoPEP: A Development Process Model for Community Platforms for Cancer Patients, Community platform engineering process
  17. Porter, C.E. (2004) A Typology of Virtual Communities: A Multi-Disciplinary Foundation for Future Research, Journal of Computer-mediated Communication, Vol, 10. No. 1.


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