Month: September 2014

A Quick Tip For Building Any Type Of Group

September 30, 2014Comments Off on A Quick Tip For Building Any Type Of Group

It's awkward when a group of strangers are dropped in a room together. 

A few bold people will introduce themselves and start a discussion.

Others will frantically try to think of a reason to speak to the person standing next to them. 

The rest will play with their phones hoping someone tells them what to do.

A simple tip, don't drop a group of strangers in a room together. Don't force everyone to introduce themselves to the rest of the group. This isn't natural. Neither party enjoys it. 

Begin with you. Then invite a few people and begin chatting to them. Invite a few more, then more. Each person that arrives is greeted, introduced to someone, and you can ensure they're talking to others in similar situations. 

Better yet, give everyone a separate time to arrive. Create 7 time slots, spaced 10 minutes apart, for people to arrive over the course of an hour. 

Far easier to integrate a few people at a time into an existing group than force a batch of strangers together. 

If you come to FeverBee SPRINT, you might see this in action. 

This works for online communities too. Don't invite everyone at once. Bring people in steadily. Socialize them into the group. Hold back on the mass emails. 

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

A Quick SPRINT Update – 1 Month To Go

September 29, 2014Comments Off on A Quick SPRINT Update – 1 Month To Go

We're now 1 month away from FeverBee SPRINT.

We have about 10 places remaining for the workshop and a few more than that for the conference.

Once the tickets have sold out, we won't be able to issue any more. If you're planning to go, buy tickets soon. 

If you want the latest innovative ideas about building thriving communities, to connect with the top community pros in the world, and solve the specific challenges your community faces please sign up


Full details at:

Note: We have a lot of special surprises for attendees. We hope you will enjoy the show. 

p.s. Don't forget our terrific referral system.

Designing A Community For Your First 100 Members

September 26, 2014Comments Off on Designing A Community For Your First 100 Members

Design your community for where it will be within the next few months, not now. 

One client recently sent us incredibly vast and detailed plans to review.

These plans dictated the entire social structure for a vast 10k+ community. These plans are designed to filter that sort of activity.

But to get there, you first need to get your first 100 participating members.

A community designed for your first 100 members is very different from a community designed for 1000 members.

Take CommunityGeek below. We have news, we have forums, and a resources area. That's about it. That's all we need and want at this stage. 


If the site reaches the 500+ (active) members , we'll start change the structure of the forums to handle and guide activity to specific categories. That will probably mean listing the top 5 most popular discussions on the left and then a list of unique categories/groups below. 

If you're designing a community for your first 100 members, you can also create a structure where every member, upon joining, is guided (either by technology or by yourself) to connect with someone in a similar situation/location/space to them. 

Don't jump too far ahead on the platform design. Your site will go through several evolutions. Design the community to solve the challenge it faces now.

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

What If Members Knew What We Know?

September 25, 2014Comments Off on What If Members Knew What We Know?

If your members were more aware of how their minds worked, would they act differently? 

For example, if they knew that arguments tend to polarize people – would they still argue as much? Or with the same unending ferocity? 

If they knew that we have less respect for those that feel compelled to defend themselves against any possible perceived slight, would they be as defensive and alert to any feasible slight?

If they knew that it takes a certain number of 3 to 18 weeks (research varies) to form a habit, would they play a collaborative, active, role in trying to form the habit of visiting the community? 

If they knew that socializing with other members was key to becoming a regular, active, participant – would they make more of an effort upon joining to participate?

In short, instead of trying to guide/nudge them to taking the desired actions – what if we just tell them how it works? 

If members know more of what we know, do they act differently?

If we can educate members in how their minds work in social settings, do they act better in communities? 

This is a hunch we're quietly exploring. So far the results are leaning towards positive – but need a little reinforcement of the message. 

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?


September 24, 2014Comments Off on Testimonials

FeverBee Community Management Course – Greenpeace

“The course has been a truly valuable experience to me. It outperformed my expectations and has sent me away fired-up with inspiration and concrete plans. I believe this will make a real difference to the value of my community.

I found that Richard has an admirable degree of knowledge and gave an excellent insight into all the complexities of on the area of community management.

Very informative and interactive”. 


Vanessa van Donselaar, Mobilization Officer, Greenpeace

  Logo-GREENPEACEGreenPeace Logo



Consultancy University of Alaska Anchorage

“Feverbee is truly brings a one of a kind expertise to their community consulting and course. Their use of social science theory and proven methods of interaction, coupled with practical strategies and planning templates, helped our process and project tremendously.

Translating business process and some community concepts to a higher education setting was a new challenge for us, and Nancy was a pleasure to work with and provided thorough support, guidance and feedback through the entire consultancy phase.

Ongoing support offerings andexceptional online resources  left us feeling like we still have a partner in our community strategy, and make Feverbee stand out as a true leaders and innovators in this field”.

Sarah FrickSarah Frick, Academic Commons Community
Assistant Director, Professional Development,  Academic Innovations & eLearning




FeverBee Community Management Course – Oracle Health Services 

“The knowledge and skills I have obtained from this course are helping me become a more effective and influential community manager. I am now able to effectively define and achieve the right goals for the community.

I would recommend this course to anyone involved with online community management”

Michelle-coolican-100x100Michelle CoolicanCommunity Manager, Oracle Health Services





Training – World Bank

“On May 6-7, 2014 we organized a two-day boot camp with a total of 14 workshops delivered by FeverBee on two parallel tracks. Working with FeverBee allowed us to train more than 50 community managers, community leaders, and knowledge management professionals interested in communities.

The community management workshops were very well received by participants, who appreciated not only their content but also the clarity in which was delivered. FeverBee’s workshop materials are being used as the foundation to develop the World Bank Group’s own training materials on building, growing, and managing communities. What FeverBee delivered in two-days will serve our organization for years to come!”.

Ivan Butina

 Ivan ButinaConsultant on Communities of Practice, World Bank


FeverBee Community Management Course – AVID

When I completed the course, I was a community manager with more than 4 years of experience, and I found the course to be extremely beneficial. I didn’t think the first half of the course would be very helpful as I already manage 2 active communities for my company, however it offered new advice alongside the more advanced levels of the course which I was primarily interested in.

This background information has helped me understand the things I did wrong, or simply didn’t do in the beginning; and has given me a better understanding of my communities and their members.

The knowledge I have acquired through this course is helping me become a more effective and influential community manager. I am now able to accurately define and achieve the right goals for the community; and am more confident in articulating the needs, purpose, and benefits of the community to upper management.

I would recommend this course to anyone involved with online community management, at all experience levels”

JaredAdler-100x100Jared Adler, Community Manager,






Consultancy – Ben’s Friends

“Ben’s Friends is a network of patient communities helping people living with rare diseases.  The impact of our entire nonprofit depends on using the right software platform to run our communities.  
I did some research on the options but was still unsure of the best solution and anxious that there might be a platform out there that I haven’t heard of.   A consultation with Darren from FeverBee was all it took to get us pointed in the right direction and save us thousands of dollars and months of integration headaches had we gone with the wrong platform. 
Thanks, Feverbee”.
Ben Munoz, Founder of Ben’s Friends
Ben's Friends

FeverBee Community Management Course – Canadian Cancer Society

“Richard has the ability to distill theory from a variety of disciplines and apply it to online communities. His pragmatic suggestions for online community management have proven very valuable in finding the best approach for our organisation”

Heather Sinardo, Senior Manager, CancerConnection, Canadian Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer



FeverBee Community Management Course – Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

“There are many people and courses – too many – purporting to know how to develop community managers and community management skills. The majority of them are the equivalent of snake-oil remedies, charlatans and hucksters. This is not one of those courses.

The skills taught here are practical, realistic, and mirror actual daily usage. Whether you are a newly minted community manager, or someone with years of experience looking for a new perspective, this course will be helpful to you”.

Philippe Beaudette
, Director, Community Advocacy, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Wikimedia




Instead of ‘Join The Military Connect Community’

September 24, 2014Comments Off on Instead of ‘Join The Military Connect Community’

Saw this on Military Connect's community:

Screenshot 2014-07-30 08.35.28

A few tweaks I'd suggest here: 

1) Replace 'Join the Military Connect Professional Community' with 'Join 1737 military professionals {doing core benefit e.g. getting the insider track on careers}"

2) Replace 'Join now' with 'Get started'

3) Replace 'A community created to showcase your ideas, discovery valuable insights, and connect directly with Military Connect leadership and employees' with something along the lines of: 'Network and graft your way to a top post-military job' 

Audience research and in-person interviews would guide the specific copy, but you get the idea. The changes would 

a) encourage people to join those like them

b) reduce the sense that it's a big process.

c) highlight a specific action we want people to take. 

Then remove the rest of the copy on the page.

Let people sign up first and then guide them in how to participate. 

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

Essentials of Community Management Course

September 23, 2014Comments Off on Essentials of Community Management Course

Since 2010, we've trained many of the world's top community professionals to build thriving communities for large organisations. 

We've been blown away by the continued success of this group, but we have always wanted to make it accessible to community professionals outside of the top brands. 

To do this we've partnered with our friends at GetSatisfaction to create an Essentials of Community Management course

The goal of this course is to quickly train you up to be a terrific community manager in the minimum possible time.

You can take the lessons and do the reading in your own time, it won't interfere with your day job, we've kept the price point low, and it will ensure you can grow and improve your community. 

The course includes: 

  • 50 video tutorials (12 hours of video instruction)
  • A comprehensive strategic plan tailored for your community
  • Online exams
  • Certification

We really hope you like it. You can sign up below:

Get Referrals From Existing Members To Invite Newcomers

September 23, 2014Comments Off on Get Referrals From Existing Members To Invite Newcomers

We all know the magic of referrals.

Someone tells a friend about you, you contact the friend.

Usually this leads to a positive outcome for all.

We can apply a similar approach to growing a community.

Contact a few members, especially the more established ones, and ask if there is anyone else that they think should be in the community.

Let them pass across their e-mail address (or put you both in touch).

Then contact the person and reference the member who recommended them and why they thought s/he should join. 

Or better, got your moderators/volunteers to do it. 

Soon you have a very scalable model for growing a community. 

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

Agenda and Schedule for The SPRINT Workshop and Conference

September 22, 2014Comments Off on Agenda and Schedule for The SPRINT Workshop and Conference

Quick one, we've just published the agenda for the SPRINT Workshop and Conference.

If you were waiting for more information before signing up, it's all here. 

1) Agenda for FeverBee SPRINT workshop on Oct 29 

We're proud of putting together what we think will be a terrific workshop for community professionals. A workshop where people will resolve the particular challenges they face. 

You can download the workshop agenda here : 

2) Updated schedule for FeverBee SPRINT's conference on On 30

We've updated our conference schedule with the speaker talks. Every talk is hyper-focused on resolving a particular problem community professionals face. This is subject to change, but not by much. 

You can download it here:

Ticket prices will rise as we get closer to capacity. 

You can buy your tickets at:

A Potential Ethical Dilemma

September 19, 2014Comments Off on A Potential Ethical Dilemma

Here's a potential problem. 

We're getting very good at identifying the people most likely to disrupt a community. 

This includes their demographics and early actions in a community. 

We can usually tell if someone will troll/disrupt a community based upon:

a) Whether they complete their profile.

b) Whether they integrate with an existing FB/Twitter account.

b) Whether they make standard early-discussions in a community.

d) The early language they use in the community (and length of posts)

c) Their age/gender.

d) Whether they connect with/know any existing members.

The big, ethical, question is this:

Should we remove these people before they have a chance to disrupt the community? 

The combination of research from social science, big data sets, and improvements in semantic analyses means this Minority Report scenario could face us quicker than we might anticipate. 

I don't have an answer to this. But it's worth thinking about. 

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

The Real Skill Of Building Relationships

September 18, 2014Comments Off on The Real Skill Of Building Relationships

Almost every client we work with (and new hire) struggles to build geniune relationships, especially online.  

Their approach to any prospective member is too formal, too long, and has an offputting sales edge.

It reads exactly like the type of communication we would ignore in our own inbox. At the World Bank a few months ago, I asked participants to craft outreach messages to members. Then we traded the messages and asked if we would a) open the e-mail and b) respond to it. The self-awareness was brutal.

Most messages are along the lines of:

Subject: Join Widgetcofans Community

Hi {name},

I am Joe Smith. I'm the community manager for WidgetCoFans, a new community for people interested in WidgetsCo's products and services.

The community will feature interviews with leading experts in the sector, offer analysis and access to our CEO Mr. Important, and host exclusive forums where fans can share their stories and trade their tips and advice. 

We would like to invite you to join the community and get access to our exclusive news, resources, and chat with your fellow WidgetCo fans. 

If you have any questions, please contact me on:

[email protected]

This e-mail isn't bad. It's short, which helps. It's just not good. It rarely gets opened, let alone read. 

There are three problems here:

1) You shouldn't be doing a pitch. Pitch messages rarely work, even when well written. You should have established a relationship before inviting someone to join a community. See the CHIP method

2) It's not personal. By personal, I mean highly personal. Not the "I noticed you like {x}, so you should join our community". More the "Hi Bob, I liked what you said about {x} in Denver. Have you found {x} is {y}?… 

Open with a question, praise, or a statement the other is likely to agree with. You should have done your research on each person you're going to reach out to. 

3) It doesn't highlight how they would be useful. People are most likely to contribute to a community if they feel they have unique attributes, skills, or expertise that will influence the group. That means you need to know what people think of themselves (or apply labelling theory). 

We've worked on 100+ successful communities, attended dozens of events, and trained countless community managers.

Without doubt, the ability to build geniune relationships is our biggest challenge right now. People probably aren't joining your community because they don't know you or don't trust you. If you're the type of person that struggles to approach new people and introduce yourself at the conference, you need to work on this. 

It's a skill that you can work on. You can work on your body language, your tone of speech, even the very lines you use to open and sustain a discussion. Don't worry if it doesn't come naturally. Focus on doing it often enough until it does come naturally. 

The same is true online. You can practice on approaching people online and using empathy and social science to get them to like and trust you. It takes courage to admit you might not be good at this. It takes even more course to invest the time in getting really good at this. Imagine how valuable you would be as not just a community professional, but as a professional in any field, if you could build a positive relationship with anyone in the room.

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

1 Invite Per Person

September 17, 2014Comments Off on 1 Invite Per Person

Back in 2009, we stumbled across an interesting tactic for growing a community. 

We closed the community and instead allowed each member of the community to invite 1 person per month. 

If every member did this, the community would grow by 100% every month. 

We found around 30% to 45% of members used their monthly invites. 

30% to 45% growth per month is quite impressive. Faster than most communities. The exclusivity and being allowed to invite just 1 friend/colleague per month encouraged people to actually to find someone they wanted in the community. They suddenly had an incentive to do it (or the invite would expire). 

We made no technical changes to ensure they could only invite 1 (if they cheated and invite more, the community grows quicker). 

We've tried it a few times since. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. 

But it's usually worth trying. 

On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

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