Ethics of digital engagement: How far is too far in the quest for attention?

If you’re a regular reader, then you know I’m a big fan of TED Talks. A recent episode titled “Manipulation” got me thinking about the community manager’s role in the debate over social media and mental disorders. I won’t pretend to have any of the answers here—even the National Institutes of Health agree that there’s…

Community manager toolkit: Scale your community with volunteers

At some point you may have found yourself at work long after everyone else has left, the fluorescent lights buzzing above your head, and the sound of a lonely unanswered phone ringing through the empty hallways. Yet you remain, typing madly and wishing you had a clone to help you with all of the work…

Three signs your association is ready for an online community

While I may be biased toward online communities–I think lots of organizations can find ways to incorporate community into their business strategies–I will also be the first to tell you that there is a right time, and a wrong time, to launch your association’s community. Before you can even start building your private social network,…

Retired members make great association community managers

I was getting coffee with a friend of mine, and she was telling me that her association is at the point where it needs a community manager, but they don’t yet have enough work to make it a full-time position. She told me about a few of the options they had considered, including bringing on…

Levels of order in online community: The art of banning users

I was listening to Community Signal (available wherever fine podcasts are sold) and Patrick O’Keefe’s conversation with famed criminologist George Kelling about applying the Broken Windows theory to community management. They discussed how behavioral demonstrations and “levels of order” can maintain a cohesive, orderly group, whether online or off. While the theory is somewhat controversial,…

Finding your calling as an online community consultant

In today’s internet-fueled economy, it’s easier than ever to find a niche in the workforce and fill it, which is essentially the definition of what consultants do. And frankly, in the future freelance jobs like consulting will likely become the norm, if they haven’t already, for making a living. Boutique marketing consultant Caitlin Connors made…