Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Community Evangelism is buzzing…

Summary: The Community Evangelism paradigm — 3 other posts that talk about it; Web Worker Daily, Jeremiah Owyang, and Isabel Wang


Communities can be colorful and noisy; moderators can help

I was pretty stoked that Web Worker Daily (a part of the Giga Om Network, one of my favorite reads on productivity and a perennial Top WordPress blog) bookmarked my earlier post on Community Evangelism on their Weekend Reader column. As you probably know, my post was viewed through the prism of Seth Godin’s writing; he calls it Online Community Organizer.

The job of the future, community evangelism — Call it Online Community Organizer, Online Community Manager, or Community Evangelist, lots of people are doing it. And talking about it. [Marketing Nirvana]

Through Anne’s post I stumbled upon a couple of other community/evangelism posts that are worth sharing. I’ve also included another post on community by my friend Jeremiah, who continues to innovate at Podtech as Web Strategy Guru and shares his community management experience as well.

Below are the three posts that provide unique insight into community management attributes w/ great examples:

1. Susan Heid (Web Worker Daily) has written a post on the evolution of community management:

Many sites, especially those catering to niche audiences, use the skills of online community managers to nudge the conversation, seed chat forums with threads, recruit others to take a lead in various topics, and monitor the dialogue to follow site policies. Pay varies from highly compensated to totally voluntary.

Susan then gives us two examples of online community managers, Claudia Linh (Director of online programs for Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation) and Kanoe Namahoe (Namahoe acts as a moderator for Starbright World, a chat room for sick kids), which shows you that the one factor that brings all community managers together is a enthusiasm and passion.

Read the rest of the insightful post by Susan here (via Web Worker Daily)

2. Isabel Wang, “a marketing consultant who focuses on the web hosting industry” describes the four attributes of an evangelist’s job, in addition to the “art of listening”.

* Build online networks (irrespective of the platform)
* Participate in local developer groups
* Attend relevant conferences
* Track and monitor appropriate blogs (community blogs? more on this in an upcoming post)

Read Isabel’s complete post here (via Isabel Wang’s blog)

3. As Isabel mentions, attending and organizing events is a key attribute of an evangelist. LinkedIn, recently kicked off the summer series of Lunch 2.0 and had incredible success in that space. We’d had over 200 Bay Area professionals show up and we ended up receiving job applications from those who attended!

My friend Jeremiah from Podtech was the community manager over at Hitachi before he solidified his reputation as web strategist at Podtech. He has blogged about community concepts and was the host (while at Hitachi) of another blowout Lunch 2.0 and he draws on that experience, by defining both (i) things to remember and a (ii) checklist that would come in handy when you organize such community events.

Read Jeremiah’s entire list of to-do’s (via his Web Strategy blog)

Filed under: Miscellaneous

3 Responses

  1. Hi Mario,

    Now if only people cared when I started doing it;-)

    Note: I don’t think that an organization *has* to have a community of their own. In some cases, probably most cases, companies are probably better served by actually going out to the net to get involved in conversations that have already started.

    I think there’s several practical things to consider w/community:
    1. Is community going to be about help? A good example would be the eBay boards.
    2. Is community going to be about brand? This is where I think blogs are good, but not so good about service issues (#1 above).
    3. Is it actually better for the company to simply be involved online? After all, managing forums/blogs can be somewhat costly. I am trying to state that it might be easier to be a “parasite” of sorts, one that latches onto issues in multiple communities.

    Note: I am speaking from personal experience(s). From my end, I don’t think one has to do too many events to be a success. In my four+ years at PayPal, I spent about 15k on things related to community; I didn’t run any in-house programs dedicated to creating events. All of my work was done online & the feedback closely mirrored what I already was getting on a daily basis.

    Like

  2. Mario Sundar says:

    Oops, I dunno how I missed this comment.

    We may’ve had a conversation on this topic, but it’s worth going over. My personal belief is that communities automatically form around products/services, of course some are more vocal than others.

    You’re right about “participation” being the key to community, irrespective of where it resides on the web.

    Like

  3. Managing communities takes a huge amount of patience, skin tougher than leather and a healthy dose of self-motivation. It’s unlike any position I’ve held in many regards as a journalist, but very much like it in the way that it involves engaging an audience. This is no easy gig, but very important in today’s media landscape.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,558 other followers