Tag Archives: Online Community

#OCTRibe Topic: Valuing Participation in Online Communities

Note: This is cross-posted from the Online Community Report.
I’m pleased to be kicking off the 2nd topic in the #octribe discussion, following the kickoff topic of “Influencers” by Gail Williams two weeks ago.

How OCTribe works

Write something tomorrow (Tuesday, July 28), tag it #octribe or tweet it as #octribe, and your post will be linked from the recap page. Moving forward, each 2nd Tuesday and 4th Tuesday of the month, the call and the recap will be hosted on the site of another one of the bloggers in the loosely defined OCTribe group. This conversational project is just starting, so please join in!

The Topic: Valuing Member Participation and Contribution in Online Communities
Admittedly, this topic is a bit of a double edged sword: Assigning financial value to online community member participation and contribution.

On one hand, a community manager could can paint a compelling portrait of value for internal stakeholders by determining a financial value to member participation (assistant moderate, guiding discussions, welcoming new members, etc.) and assigning value to member contributions (support forum posts, tutorials, reviews, feedback and ideas).

On the other hand, if an organization were to make the valuations of member participation and contribution public, it would likely set off a firestorm of debate about member compensation, legal boundaries around “volunteer opportunities”, and ultimately, force the host organization to account for true cost and true value of the activities and content created in their online community.

It seems clear that it would be useful for organizations to have at least notional values for member contributions and participation. What is less clear is how (if at all) to talk about this value with the community, and how (if at all) social capital is exchanged for financial capital in online communities.

The questions I would like to explore in this #octribe series are (feel free to pick one, all or explore your own!):
• Do you currently assign an internal financial value to member contributions and participation?
• Do you use an assumed value as part of your communities ROI reporting?
• Do you account for social capital in your system of accounting for online communities?

Reading the following article from forbes (2001) spawned the “participation value” question for me. In the article, staff writers sketched the value of the cost savings AOL benefited from via their volunteer program.

http://www.forbes.com/asap/2001/0219/060s02.html

“How much has AOL saved by using volunteer labor during the past nine years? That’s not an easy question, and with AOL involved in litigation, the company is not eager to furnish the answer. But even with the most conservative numbers available, we estimate that by using volunteers AOL escaped nearly $973 million in expenses since going public in 1992. That poses the question: Would AOL have thrived-or even survived-on Wall Street without free help from volunteers during its first seven years as a public company? Not likely.

The many jobs that volunteers have performed for AOL would be compensated at a wide range of hourly rates in the labor market (see story). To be safe, we used a conservative figure of $15 per hour-about equal to that of a security guard-as the median salary for today’s AOL volunteers. We adjusted the hourly rate backward using an annual rate of inflation of 4% (historical note: Inflation hasn’t been as high as 4% since mid-1991). For the purpose of the model, each volunteer is assumed to have worked 10 hours per week, 50 weeks a year.”

Please note that I am including the article because it is one example of valuing member participation.

So, to wrap up:
• Please post your thoughts on valuing member participation on Tuesday, July 28th
• Tag the posts and any related tweets as #octribe
• I’ll compile a wrap up post that includes all tagged posts by the end of the week

If you have any questions, please email me.

Next Online Community Roundtable: July 8th – Washington DC

Are you a community manager or social media strategist or are you in charge of online community & social media at your organization? Are you in the Washington DC Area?

If so, you might find the Online Community Roundtable of interest. This is a small networking group / event that meets regularly to discuss issues, opportunities and trends with online communities, and represents leading organizations (large and small). This will be our first meeting in the DC area, and I’m very excited to be “taking the show” to the east coast.

The format is an hour of networking, followed by two hours of presentation and discussion about online communities and social media. The Roundtable is free, but you need to RSVP.

Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Center for Global Development
Street: 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW
City/Town: Washington, DC

You must RSVP to attend:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128815474008#/event.php?eid=128815474008
Please note: even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still rsvp to the event.

If you have any questions, please email me .

Online Community Unconference 2009 Wiki Open & Session Highlights

Cross-posted from the Online Community Report.

One of the most exciting things about the Unconference format is the fact that there are so many sessions running simultaneously. This can also be on of the most frustrating, as it is impossible to be everywhere at once. Thankfully, participants generally try to take thorought notes of their sessions to share back with the group.

We had over 50 sessions at the Online Community Unconference, and notes for most are captured on the Unconference wiki. The wiki is now open for public reading (editing and commenting are reserved for Unconference attendees).

The Online Community Unconference wiki can be found here:
http://www.socialtext.net/ocu2009

A few highlights from the session notes include:

Managing the Mob: What to do when things go wrong
Melissa Daniels of Yahoo! convened this session to discuss how to integrate your community into the organization’s decision making process, even when the community mood is dark.

Social CRM : Mapping Social ID’s, Behavioral Targeting & Common Profiles
A session about managing customer relationships across multiple domains, convened by Ajay Ramachandran of SourceN.

Using Community in Strategy Development
Nilofer Merchant of Rubicon Consulting convened this session to explore how companies can use communities as a strategic tool and integrate feedback and learning from communities into product development and company strategy.

Community Driven Product Design – Collecting Feedback from your Community
Siko Bouterse of hi5 convened this session to explore the best ways to build feedback systems.


B2B Communities – What works, Best Practices

Mike Rowland of Impact Interactions led a session sharing community management best practices based on his firm’s experience over the last 10 years.


What is Community Leadership?

Scott Moore convened this session to explore the attributes of leadership in communities.

Social Network Analysis (in excel!)
Marc Smith of Telligent led a session on social network mapping and analysis, and offered a demo of NodeXL, a free, excel-based tool.

Mission Aligned Twittering
Jill Finlayson of Social Edge led a discussion on a holistic approach to Twittering: figure out how the whole organization can get value.

Are we a Community Too? Ways Community Practitioners Stay Connected. What’s next?
Gail Williams of Salon Media Group and Scott Moore explore the concept of a community manager and strategists “tribe”.

Please feel free to share the link to the wiki, or to link to the source session notes from your blogs / tweets.

Highlights from Unconferences Past

Cross posted from the Online Community Report.

We are just over 2 weeks away from our Online Community Unconference, to be held 6/10 in Mountain View at the Computer History Museum.

One of the most valuable resources that comes out of our Unconference series is the set of session notes that are posted to the event wiki. We generally have between 40-60 sessions at each of the Unconferences, and many of the sessions are captured and posted. The wiki (and session notes) are open to the public shortly after we complete each Unconference.

In preparing for this year’s Unconference, I’ve looked back over our previous event’s wikis, and I (re)discovered the following gems that I thought I would share.

Key Sessions from Previous Online Community Unconferences:

Community Management 101: How to get started in this big wide world
An excellent overview of how to get started in community management.

Social Psychology 101 for Community Managers
Useful notes that apply social psychology theory to the context of online community.

Worst Case Scenerios – What to do when things go terribly wrong
Lessons learned from challenging community management situations.

Twitter for Business
A thorough look at use cases for Twitter use in and for the enterprise.

Managing + Motivating Community leaders
A discussion on how to energize and engage super users and moderators.

Unconference 2009
If you currently drive the community or social media strategy for your organization, and you are in (or will be in) the SF Bay Area on 6/10, I would encourage you to come check it out!

Current attendees include: Google, REI, Get Satisfaction, Intuit, Microsoft, TechSoup, Symantec, and many others.

Registration
To register at the pre-event rate of $195 ($245 on site) please go here:
http://ocu2009-rpm526.eventbrite.com

OCU 2008 Wiki
The wiki is available if you would like to read the session notes:

http://www.socialtext.net/ocu08/

You can see pictures from the 2008 Unconference here:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=ocu2008&w=all&s=int

We also have several sponsor opportunities open for this Unconference. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to reach community and social media professionals, please contact me about our sponsorship options.

Online Communities: Surviving & Thriving Webcast

The archive for Online Communities: Thriving in the Economic Downturn Webinar”>Online Communities: Thriving in the Economic Downturn Webinar is now available.

You can view an archive of the video / audio from the webcast here:
http://www.onlinecommunityreport.com/webcasts/OCSVTV/index.htm

On the webcast today, I was joined by Thor Muller of Satisfaction, Chris Kenton of SocialRep and Scott Wilder of Intuit. Topics discussed in the webcast include:

- Buffalo culture as a new metaphor for your online business
– The customer relationship as a currently squandered opportunity
– Rethinking “ROI”
– The social history of marketing and media
– Setting social media policy and training staff – “Guidelines and guardrails”
– and much more.

Participant bios:

Thor Muller – CEO & Co-founder, Satisfaction

Thor Muller is CEO & Co-founder of Satisfaction, a startup delivering “people-powered customer service for absolutely everything.”

He is also the co-founder and former Managing Director of Rubyred Labs, a San Francisco-based web apps firm. Since its founding in 2005, Rubyred has developed social software for a range of startups and leading portals.

Prior to Rubyred, Thor was a first generation Web entrepreneur, creating Web success stories for companies such as Yahoo, Dell, Bank of America, Intel, Virgin Records, Fujitsu, Discovery Channel, and Sony. In 1995, he started and ran one of the early Web development boutiques, Prophet Communications, later acquired by Frog Design where he served as VP Digital Media. He subsequently founded Trapezo, a venture-funded company that made Web software for syndicating content, acquired by Perfect Commerce in 2002.

Christopher Kenton – CEO & Founder, SocialRep

Christopher Kenton is founder and CEO of the enterprise social media SaaS startup SocialRep, and cofounder and consulting partner at MotiveLab a social media marketing agency. Chris was formerly Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) Council, and its corporate parent, the international PR firm GlobalFluency, where he managed global business development, client consulting services and program development for business communities including the CMO Council, the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME).

With an extensive background in strategic marketing and software development, Chris specializes in market development, competitive positioning, marketing effectiveness and measurement, with a special emphasis on marketing technology and social media.


Scott K. Wilder, Group Manager, Intuit

Scott K. Wilder is currently the Group Manager of Intuit’s QuickBooks Online Community and User-Collaboration Web site. Previously, he served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at KBtoys.com and eToys. He also has held numerous senior management positions at America Online, Apple Computer, Borders.com, and American Express. While working at America Online, Scott helped create the first Web-based online advertisement and commercial Web site. Wilder has a Master degrees from The Johns Hopkins University, The New York University Leonard Stern School of Business and Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program.

Bill Johnston, Chief Community Officer, Forum One Networks

Bill Johnston works as Forum One Network’s Chief Community Officer. In this role, Bill drives the editorial vision for Forum One’s series of conferences related to online community, leads the Online Community Research Network, and leads the commercial community consulting practice.

Johnston has been building large-scale online communities since 1999. He came to Forum One from Autodesk, where he served as the Online Strategy Manager, with responsibilities including a portfolio of online communities and blogs. Previously he oversaw user experience tasks at TechRepublic, an IT professionals community (now part of Cnet). He also directs the Online Community Roundtable, an invitation-based professional networking series for online community professionals to share best practices and experiences.

Session Notes from the OC Unconference East (and the wiki is open)

Cross posted from the Online Community Report:

We just opened up the wiki from the Online Community Unconference East, held 2/12 at Baruch College in New York.

The wiki can be found here:
http://www.socialtext.net/ocue2009/ You will find notes for many of the sessions on the wiki, and folks are still adding, so be sure and check back.

In particular, I wanted to highlight a handful of session notes that I thought were particulalry valuable. I woudl encourage you to check out the following:

Social Psychology 101 for Community Managers
Scott Moore, Independent
http://www.socialtext.net/ocue2009/index.cgi?social_psychology_101_for_community_managers

Social Networking in the Enterprise
Cody Burke, Basex
http://www.socialtext.net/ocue2009/index.cgi?social_networking_in_the_enterprise

Twitter for Business
Ron Casalotti,BusinessWeek Digital

http://www.socialtext.net/ocue2009/index.cgi?twitter_for_business

Managing + Motivating Community leaders
Sara Stefanik, Google
http://www.socialtext.net/ocue2009/index.cgi?managing_motivating_community_leaders

Moderation Strategies
Bryan Person, LiveWorld
http://www.socialtext.net/ocue2009/index.cgi?moderation_strategies

Community Platform & Services Satisfaction Research

The Online Community Research Network is currently conducting our next research project to assess the level of satisfaction with online community platforms, and platform and service providers.

The research targets online community executives, strategists, and managers, working both in the commercial and non-profit space.

If you would like to participate in the study, you can find the research survey here:
http://bit.ly/487DWj

All participants that submit a complete (and valid) survey will receive a copy of the final report, to be published at the end of February.

Again, the survey is intended for community managers and strategists only, please. This person is on the “customer” side of the customer / vendor relationship. If this describes you, please proceed. Responses from online community platform and service vendors will be factored out of the final data set, if submitted.

Ecosystem Powerpoint Slides

I was part of the “Building a Business Case for Social Marketing” webinar yesterday hosted by Aaron Strout of Powered. During the presentation, I promised to post my slide illustating the concept of a community ecosystem.

The ppt deck has two versions of this diagram, one on a black background with a build, and one with just a white background.

I hope you find the diagram useful in your presentations.

ppt Community Ecosystem Slides

A preview of the ecosystem diagram

A preview of the ecosystem diagram

Online Community Unconference East – 2009

Our first event of 2009, the Online Community Unconference East is going to be held on February 11 in New York City. We expect 150 online community and social media professionals to attend, and we expect there to be between 30-40 collaborative sessions.

Current attendees include: Google, Edelman, Ebay, Consumer Reports, Deutsche Telekom, iVillage, and others.

To register at the early bird rate of $145 ($195 after 1/19) please go here:
http://ocue2009.eventbrite.com

Last year’s Unconference East was fantastic, and we expect this years to be even better. We had an amazing group in 2008, including:
AOL, MTV, Consumers Union (consumer reports), Cyworld, Business Week, Socialtext, IBM, Mzinga, Spinvox, Twing.com, Salon.com, Harvard Business, MediaBistro, KickApps, HP, TV Guide and Zagat.com.

We also had an amazing list of sessions, including:
– What is necessary to start a successful social network?
– Social Movements/Communities with a Cause:
– Enterprise And Large Organizations Meets Community
– User Managed Communities: where users make the rules
– Community Building: Resources and Considerations
– Virtual Goods 101
– Social Media Optimization
– Customer/Consumer Communities for Co-Innovation
– Twitter Strategies for the Enterprise
– Culture vs. Community: Intention-based content
– Community Analytics: measuring success & failure
– Social Networks: Likes/dislikes and what you want to know
– Virtual Goods and Virtual World Interactions
– Building Enterprise IT: Colloboration & interface to internal systems (using wikis)
– Open ID & other user-centric identity technologies (Higgins, Infocards, SAML)

You can see pictures from the 2008 Unconference here:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=ocue2008&w=all&s=int

OCU East 2008 Wiki
The wiki is available if you would like to read the session notes:
http://www.socialtext.net/ocue08/

Register
Again, to register at the early bird rate of $145 ($195 after 1/19) please go here:
http://ocue2009.eventbrite.com

If you currently drive the community or social media strategy for your organization, and you are in (or will be in) the NYC area on 2/11, I would encourage you to come check it out!

We also have several sponsor opportunities open for this Unconference. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to reach NYC community and social media professionals, please contact me about our sponsorship options.

Online Communities: Thriving in the Downturn

Cross-posted from the Online Community Report.