Pubcon Day 3 – Community Building

Last session of the conference for this sore-wristed typist.  I’m excited to hear from Gillian Muessig.  I spoke on a panel with her quite a few years ago and she is really one of the most gracious and supportive people I’ve met.

First up is the SEOMom, Gillian Muessig, Founding President Emeritus, SEOMoz.org

Gillian is sharing photos of clusters, talking about clusters progressing into communities.  Are the clusters, communities?  No – they’ve a similar thought group, etc.

Clusters that are focused on a similar brand are a community.  World of Warcraft, Harley Davidson, Second Life, American Medical Association, Pubcon-ers.  Community is based on shared values, goals and experiences.

Facebook and other social tools are NOT communities, it’s a platform on which we build a community.

Communities are strengthened by circumstance, passion, and education.  Look for an overlap in interests, ethics, beliefs, that is where the community is built, not just because everyone does essentially the same job.

The product doesn’t necessarily draw the community, don’t focus only on the product.  Focus on who you want to attract.

Next we’ll hear from Sanjay Sabnani, CEO/Founder, CrowdGather.  He’s made a business of buying forums and communities and growing them.

Content creators aren’t always the best moderators for your forums.  The personalities are different, their “rewards” are generally very different.  Writers want recognition from the community, moderators want the community to get along.  Very different goals.

Generally your forum/community moderators are volunteers.  Don’t overload them, don’t take advantage of them.  Acknowledge what they do PUBLICLY is important.  Be sure you don’t make changes without asking the community, they get VERY accustomed and protective of their community.  Don’t even change a COLOR without warning them.  Leak it out at least 2 weeks ahead of time.

Don’t take features away until you are extremely sure nobody that is on the volunteer staff is using it.  Don’t irritate the members unnecessarily.

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