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Episodes

How Gaming Community Knowledge Translates to Other Industries

9/15/2019
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On Community Signal, we talk to community professionals across all industries, from gaming, to healthcare, to photography, and more. And while our respective communities might convene over different topics, the tactics and tools that we employ to foster healthy communities are largely the same. In this episode, Craig Dalrymple shares how his community career started in gaming and how that knowledge has carried him into other industries. Patrick and Craig also get on the topic of customer...

Duration:00:30:25

Heather Champ and the Biggest Threats to Great Online Communities

8/5/2019
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A few weeks ago, the Community Signal team was discussing the upcoming schedule for the show and talking about the then recent news that Ravelry had decided to ban any pro-Trump related content. Community guidelines and how we moderate conversations in our respective communities are frequent topics on Community Signal, and it’s also something that we work on everyday as community professionals. If you’re contemplating new community guidelines, revising your existing ones, or debating a tough...

Duration:01:01:18

The Loot Chest That Launched a Career in Community Management

6/17/2019
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If you work in games, social media, or community management, then you know that running any communications or programming around conventions like E3 and PAX requires intense planning and coordination. Fresh off of his first on the ground activation at E3, Joe King, social media manager for GameStop, shares the ups and downs of working conventions and of working in games community management. He also shares his strategy for engaging with games communities whether he is walking the convention...

Duration:00:45:26

How Online Communities Can Disappear if Section 230 Gets Repealed

5/20/2019
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How would the internet change if Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is repealed? For U.S.-based online communities and the professionals that work for them, not for the better. In fact David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argues that some websites and communities would disappear altogether. They simply wouldn’t be able to exist with the risk that republishing content could bring. If you want to talk to your...

Duration:00:38:42

Join for the Code, Stay for the Community

5/6/2019
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When did you first realize that community management was an actual job? Many of the guests on Community Signal, including Patrick and this week’s guest, Shreyas Narayanan Kutty, got their start in community management by volunteering for causes or topics that they were passionate about. After building communities as a volunteer for the Mozilla Foundation, Shreyas found himself surrounded by community professionals and realized that he wanted to take his work full-time. Shreyas now manages...

Duration:00:29:17

Building and Nurturing Atlassian’s Community Leaders Program

4/22/2019
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When Trello was acquired by Atlassian, Erica Moss went from being a team of one to a community manager with a supportive and specialized team. With this came the challenge of supporting Atlassian’s Community Leaders program, a group of Atlassian experts that share their knowledge with others. Tasked with taking the community from a Q&A forum to something more, Erica focused on what she thought would keep community members coming back and the “warm fuzzies” that would help community leaders...

Duration:00:43:27

How Front Porch Forum is Empowering the Citizens of Vermont

4/8/2019
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For all of of the convenience and value that tech companies and platforms provide, we’re also starting to see just how much they take away. In this episode, Michael Wood-Lewis, the co-founder of Front Porch Forum, shares how big tech facilitates connections between people, but at both a monetary and social cost. In this episode, Michael and Patrick discuss how tech platforms optimize for engagement, back and forth between their users. But Front Porch Forum optimizes for actual...

Duration:00:39:29

The Sunset of Google Plus Communities and the Sunrise of a National Geographic Society Community

3/25/2019
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If you’re working on launching a new community initiative, there are so many case studies, tools, and knowledgeable community professionals to help you along your journey. But what if you’re tasked with sunsetting a community? In this conversation, Patrick and Luke Zimmer, manager of the educator community for the National Geographic Society, discuss both instances. Luke has been tasked with managing the community for educators interested in geography education and after evaluating the...

Duration:00:38:37

Machine Learning by Communities, for Communities

3/4/2019
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When was the last time you thought about that blank text field where members of your community can leave comments? That text field and blinking cursor are the closest we have to pauses between human interaction on the internet. In this episode, Perspective’s product manager, Cj Adams, encourages us to think about how we might innovate that text field and blinking cursor in hopes of having more inclusive, difficult, and natural conversations. Cj also explains how Perspective can help. Its...

Duration:00:39:20

Why Southwest Airlines Has an Online Forum

2/17/2019
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When you’re booking your next flight and wondering about your in-terminal dining options or which seat will give you the best takeoff and landing views, check to see if you’re preferred airline has a community that can help out with those questions. Southwest Airlines does, and it might be the only online community hosted by a major airline. Airlines are always managing customer-facing and public relations issues so how exactly does one make the case for building a community? In this...

Duration:00:32:29

The Role of Credibility in Community Management

2/4/2019
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With a global network of content moderators, it seems that Facebook might be the largest employer of community professionals in the world. But even with these resources, their content moderation practices continue to make headlines. Outsourcing this work barely seems to help Facebook keep up with the volume of content that needs to be reviewed, not to mention the toll that this takes on the often undervalued and underpaid people that are responsible for it. To this Ben Whitelaw, the...

Duration:00:45:23

The Dark Side of Algorithms

1/21/2019
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Major social media platforms are using algorithms in spite of the best interests of their users, says Bruce Ableson on this episode of Community Signal. They are focused on serving you an ad at the right moment, or putting something controversial in front of you, “gaming the experience against the users to make money.” Throughout the conversation, it becomes clear that this is emblematic of their approach in general, not just to curation and algorithms, but to moderation and management....

Duration:00:48:35

How Data and Teenagers Power the Future of Online Community

1/7/2019
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In 2018, a common thread across Community Signal conversations was knowing how to clearly communicate the success of community across an organization. It’s fitting that for our first show of 2019, we’re joined by Tammy Armstrong, someone who is passionate about using data to solve problems. Tammy and Patrick met on KarateForums.com and from her years as a community member and moderator, she learned a valuable lesson (care of Oprah): “When we know better, we do better.” This lesson carries...

Duration:00:41:52

Threats to Section 230 Should Unleash the Political Power of Community Professionals

12/16/2018
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This week, Patrick and Scott Moore continue their conversation commemorating three years of Community Signal, touching on a topic that’s important to the work of all community professionals but that doesn’t necessarily get a lot of attention: the laws and regulations that govern our work. You’re probably familiar with GDPR and Section 230 of the Telecommunications Decency Act. And for those of us that are paid community professionals working for established companies, we likely have...

Duration:00:39:09

Retaining Talented Community Pros and What Makes a Great Boss? (3 Years of Community Signal)

12/3/2018
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This week, Community Signal proudly celebrates three years of conversations with community professionals. We’re taking this opportunity to talk to Patrick about his experience running the show and giving him a chance to reflect on the state of online community management and how he’s seen it develop over these past few years. We’re also grateful to be joined by past guest, Scott Moore, for this conversation. Combined, Patrick and Scott have over four decades of experience in community and a...

Duration:00:45:29

How The New York Times is Building Thoughtful Comment Sections in the Trump Era

11/19/2018
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Over the past few months, Patrick has spoken to several leaders in the world of journalism and for this episode, we’re welcoming back Bassey Etim, community editor at the New York Times. Bassey was originally on Community Signal in December of 2015 and it’s overwhelming to think about how public perception of the media and the Times, in particular, has changed since then. To give you some context, Barack Obama was still in office at the time of that interview and Donald Trump had yet to win...

Duration:00:49:14

Build Something People Care Enough to Get Angry About

11/5/2018
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Jason Falls knows where your customers are talking. He’s studied conversations for several years and, time and time again, he’s shed light on an inconvenient truth for brands: If you’re ignoring online forums, you’re probably ignoring a substantial part of the conversations happening in public – maybe even a majority of them. And it usually doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Banking? 90%. Elderly care? 83%. He doesn’t work in the community space, he’s not drinking the Kool-Aid. Jason...

Duration:00:46:18

How Spotify’s Rock Star Program Empowers and Rewards Community Super Users

10/22/2018
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Spotify’s Rock Stars are super users, officially recognized by the company and given tools, resources, guidance and perks for answering questions and starting conversations in their online community and helping users on Twitter, through the @AskRockStars account. With more than 150 members, the program will celebrate its fifth birthday next month. Each year, Spotify hosts Rock Star Jam, an event at their head quarters in Stockholm. They fly in the top 10 most helpful Rock Stars to meet...

Duration:00:43:04

News Membership as a Community Model

10/8/2018
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Local newsrooms are tasked with representing their local communities and the issues and topics that matter to them. For that reason, it seems especially important for there to be reader advisory boards and feedback loops in place to ensure that the local community can share feedback with the newsroom. But if your newsroom or publication is in a pre-community state, Rebecca Quarl has suggestions on scalable measures that you can take to let your audience know that you value their...

Duration:00:34:09

The Community Manager You Think You Can’t Afford

9/24/2018
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As community professionals, we have more tools than ever to help us do our jobs. That said, the qualities that make an online community and an online community professional successful are likely largely the same today as they were 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. This episode of Community Signal focuses on those exact qualities and opportunities to delight. If you’re applying for a job in community, Patrick and our guest, Angela Connor, have some tips on standing out [00:30:13]: And if you’ve...

Duration:00:45:27