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Delphi Forums, the Enduring Legacy of an Online Pioneer

Pioneering online service Delphi, launched in 1981, has been a lot of things over the years, as ownership changed hands several times and priorities shifted. But in 2017, what’s the enduring legacy of the Delphi? What remains today? The forums. Dave Cayem spent 15 years at Delphi Forums, surviving multiple acquisitions and eventually leaving as vice president and chief community officer, before holding senior community and customer service roles at CustomMade and Booster. Dave shares...

Duration: 00:36:18

The One Community Metric to Rule Them All

You just took a new community job, and you’re already feeling the pressure to prove your worth. You need some quick community wins. What metric should you focus on? Bas van Leeuwen has an answer. He is the co-founder of community metrics dashboard Community Analytics, and community measurement fills the second half of this episode. Analytics aren’t scary or difficult, you just have to know what to look for. Plus: Our Podcast is Made Possible By… If you enjoy our show, please know that...

Duration: 00:33:09

When You Ask a Room Full of Senior Staff What Community Is

In January, Project Management Institute community engagement specialist Marjorie Anderson delivered a presentation to a room full of senior staff. She asked them a question: “Can anyone tell me what community is?” Surprised by the answers she received, Marjorie endeavored to make community more well understood by those in the organization. Those efforts are a topic on this episode, as are Project Management Institute’s move to close 36 communities or practice in favor of...

Duration: 00:35:49

Community Experience is Part of the Customer Experience

After 8 months at construction software provider Procore Technologies, Jenn Chen is close to the finish line. The company will soon launch their online community. The process of getting there is the focus of this episode, including how Jenn worked for interdepartmental support and buy-in, conducted surveys with beta users (what happens if they don’t actually want a community?) and where she’s at right now. Plus: Our Podcast is Made Possible By… If you enjoy our show, please know that...

Duration: 00:22:18

The Cost of Being a Prominent Woman on Wikipedia - and Online

Emily Temple-Wood joined Wikipedia at 12, and become an administrator at 13. In 2016, she was honored by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales as Wikipedian of the Year. For nearly her entire time on the site, she has dealt with obscene, personal abuse. “People have been harassing me since the first vandal figured out I was a lady,” Emily told Wired earlier this year. “Which was within a month or so of my joining the site.” She has turned that abuse into motivation, increasing the quantity and...

Duration: 00:34:40

The Ups and Downs of My Community Management Job Search

As I mentioned on our last episode, I recently made a big career change. We talk about careers in community management, and how to advance, fairly regularly on the show. I also love to talk to guests who are in the moment. I’m definitely in the moment, so why not put myself under the microscope, and talk about my own search for a new role? But I don’t want to just talk to myself. My friend Brandon Eley knows as much about my search as anyone else does, and he agreed to develop and host...

Duration: 00:35:02

Students Who Use the Community Pass More Exams - and Pay More Tuition

While at online education company Penn Foster, Daniel Marotta was able to prove that not only did students who participated in their online community took more exams and pass more exams, but they also paid more tuition and defaulted less on their tuition. Now at the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care, Daniel just launched a brand new community, and it’s always fun to talk to someone in the middle of a launch. Plus: Our Podcast is Made Possible By… If you enjoy our show,...

Duration: 00:30:38

Digital Community in the 1970s

When we talk about the beginnings of online community, we often discuss The WELL, which launched in 1985. It’s easy to forget that some people, like our guest on this episode, were building digital communities well before that. Randy Farmer co-created Habitat, recognized as the first graphical virtual world. Over the last 30 years, he has helped companies like Lucasfilm, Electronic Arts, Linden Lab, Yahoo! and to design better community products. On this episode, we...

Duration: 00:36:40

The Election Year That Never Ended

Usually, at 18-year-old online community MetaFilter, a U.S. presidential election year means a big increase in heated political discussion. But once a victor is declared, and the transfer of power occurs, things go back to normal. Not this time. The 2016 presidential election – MetaFilter’s fifth – has created a situation where, six months after the election, they are still dealing with far more political discussion than they would normally be seeing. For a community that isn’t focused on...

Duration: 00:47:41

The Broken Windows Theory

“If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken.” So says the broken windows theory, introduced by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson in 1982, and widely adopted in law enforcement circles. Though the theory was created with crime in mind, it has been adopted by many industries and vocations, including online community. I have seen it come up numerous times in our industry and, in talking with other veterans of the space,...

Duration: 00:37:39

How a Strict Paywall Affects Community at the Financial Times

Many online news media outlets, especially those that were borne out of print publications, have paywalls. You might be able to view a handful of articles, but you have to pay to keep reading. However, some paywalls are stricter than others. The Financial Times is strict. I was able to read one article, via a Twitter link, and then no more. How does having such a strict paywall affect on-site community building? Community manager and “comments advocate” Lilah Raptopoulos joins the show to...

Duration: 00:28:07

Keeping Open Source Software Developers Connected to Users

You might not realize it, but you use open source software, where the source code has been released with a license enabling it to be freely used, changed and distributed. Even if you know about open source, you may not know any of the people who contributed to that software. Traditionally, a lot of the development that occurs in open source happens in code repositories and bug trackers, and those are not places that the users of the software tend to hang out. With this separation between...

Duration: 00:33:44

National Geographic Turns to Online Community to Find Amazing Photos

4 years ago, National Geographic, the 129 year old publication known for big, bold photography, launched a photo sharing community. Your Shot provided community members with an opportunity to interact with National Geographic photographers and editors, receive feedback on their photos and possibly even have those photos featured by National Geographic online and in print. Since then, National Geographic’s usage of photos coming from the community has grown, on their website, on social...

Duration: 00:30:50

Photobucket Just Damaged Millions (Billions?) of Posts in Online Communities

Many online communities do not allow members to upload images to include in their posts. In such cases, members often rely on third party image hosting services. Among the most popular of these, for a long time, has been Photobucket. But last month, Photobucket made a change. After 14 years of allowing people to upload images for free and embed them within posts on online communities, in blogs and on websites – they stopped. Without notice. Immediately, quite possibly billions of images...

Duration: 00:37:17

Facebook Doesn't Protect Black Children, But They Did Add "Community" to Their Mission Statement, So…

There has been a lot of talk in the community industry about the Facebook Communities Summit, and how the company announced they had added the word “community” to their mission statement. I’ve seen a lot of “rah rah” from people saying how important this is for our work. Less than a week after that event, ProPublica published leaked Facebook moderator training materials that, in no uncertain terms, said that the platform protects “white men,” but not “black children.” The deafening...

Duration: 00:36:40

Why You Should Befriend Your Competitors

In May of 2001, I launched a martial arts community with a focus on respectful discussion and a generally family friendly atmosphere. The very next month, Bob Hubbard did the exact same thing. From an outward perspective, you might label us competitors and expect us to dislike each other. But we developed a friendship based upon mutual respect, which allowed us to compare notes and share knowledge around common challenges. On this episode, we discuss the benefits of being friendly with...

Duration: 00:44:39

Threats to Civil Discourse Online

It feels like the quality of discourse in the United States, and many other countries, gets worse every single day. Especially political discourse. But in online community settings, it is possible to identify the the threads to civil discourse and neutralize them. The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) gives tools and tactics to elected officials, the media and the public, in an effort to help everyone engage in a more civil way. NICD director of social media Tracey Todd joins...

Duration: 00:39:10

Facebook's Wake-Up Call for Jive and Enterprise Social Networks

Six and a half years ago, Kim England, global community director at multinational publishing and education company Pearson, led the company’s transition from a disjointed collection of more than 130 intranets, to an enterprise social network (ESN) powered by Jive. Recently, she said that Facebook’s move into the ESN space “should act as a wake-up call to Jive that they need to put collaboration and conversation back at the heart of their product.” Kim joins the show to talk about the...

Duration: 00:39:20

GoDaddy's Community Move

When GoDaddy hired Christopher Carfi at the start of 2014, it caught my attention. GoDaddy was a company that, at one time, I thought I would never want to be a customer of. I didn’t like the brand, didn’t like marketing, didn’t like upselling, didn’t like the old CEO. But after Blake Irving was hired as CEO, I noticed positive change. That was nice, but they still didn’t have my business. When they hired Christopher, it caught my eye because here was an experienced community mind that I...

Duration: 00:30:56

Are Associations Being Taken Advantage Of?

There’s a lot of money in the association space, especially when it comes to helping associations connect their members online. The biggest example of this might be the recent Community Brands merger, bringing together three software companies that collectively serve more than 13,000 associations and nonprofits. Association veteran Maggie McGray recently sounded the alarm on a big problem: Associations themselves, especially small staff associations, are the ones left holding the bag...

Duration: 00:41:01

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