The Library of Congress now has the entire twitter archive from 2006-2010.

The Library of Congress now has the entire Twitter archive from 2006-2010.

I just finished reading an update on the Twitter archive at the Library of Congress.

The LOC now has the full archive from 2006-2010 which is approximately 170 billion tweets. That’s more than 133.2 terabytes of data. The update includes details about how the data was acquired and the ongoing process of receiving such massive amounts of data on a daily basis. The Library of Congress has always archived large amounts of data but the fact that Twitter  content is produced by the minute, and has no end –  is new. I’ll admit that it was a fascinating read and i now know a lot more about how the LOC operates. I could probably get through a round in Jeopardy on the topic.

But what intrigued me the most was all of the inquiries they’ve received from researchers, chomping at the bit for access to the archives.As a journalist, I certainly appreciate the release of information, and once it is released we will be in for some good stories, studies and research reports. So, if you’re wondering what some of those requests are, read on.

Here are two types of requests the LOC has received from researchers. This is directly from the update:

  • A master’s student is interested in understanding the role of citizens in disruptive events. The student is focusing on real-time micro-blogging of terrorist attacks. The
    questions focus on the timeliness and accuracy of tweets during specified events.
  • A post-doctoral researcher is looking at the language used to spread information about charities’ activities and solicitations via social media during and immediately following

The Library of Congress has received 400 such inquiries from researchers all over the world spanning topics from those above to tracking flu pandemic, citizen responses to candidates’
stances on various issues and tracking public access to court systems. There are also inquiries associated with specific hashtags.

And some people actually think Twitter has no purpose. Go figure.

I hope these researchers gain access ASAP, because I can’t wait to see what they deliver.

If you want to read the update for yourself, you can find it here.


Looks like President Obama has a great deal of company when it comes to using Twitter to engage citizens.

According to a report issued today by The Digital Policy Council, (an international, non-partisan “think tank” on 21st Century Governance) three out of four World Leaders are using Twitter, with accounts set up in their personal name or through an official government office. That’s A total of 123 world leaders out of 164 countries – a 78% increase in the number of heads of state and national governments on Twitter from the third quarter of 2011.

President Obama does hold the top spot of all world leaders, however – with 24 million followers. He added 15 million followers in one year and exceeds his closest rival President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela by 20 million followers,.

Along with Chavez, Latin American leaders make up 50% of the Top 10 including newcomers President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and President Enrique Pena Nietoin of Mexico.

Other notables in the Top 10 include include Queen Rania of Jordan, President Dilma Rouseff of Brazil and Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner with a combined 5.5 million followers.

The sole European on the list is Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a fresh entrant into the top ten in 2012 likes to tweet in both Russian and English.

The Digital Policy Council’s most up-to-date research recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 93%  in world leaders joining Twitter since it began recording the data in early 2010 reflecting a near doubling every year of Heads of State on Twitter as they aggressively pursue new ways to build influence with their citizens and the international community.
SOURCE  The Digital Policy Council

Web Site:

  1. Talk to me about something other than Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Tell me that you read more than Mashable. What about news? Read any of that lately?
  3. Bring some knowledge about user behavior and tell me about a few studies you’ve recently read.
  4. Have an opinion about the future. Heck, make a prediction. That shows me you’re a thinker.
  5. Be sure you understand that posting tweets does not equal, Twitter campaign.
  6. Don’t tell me about the celebrities you tweet with unless you’ve turned that into a conversion or generated new business as a result.
  7. Know a little something about social communications.
  8. Refrain from telling me how you’ve helped anyone “push” their messages. You say “push,” I tune out.
  9. Know that rapid growth in fans and followers is unimpressive if you don’t have a smart, strategic story that supports that growth.
  10. Don’t say you’re a pro at monitoring if you’ve only done it through Google Alerts.
  11. Be honest about your skill set.
  12. Tell me about a mistake you’ve made related to your own participation in social media and what it taught you.
  13. Be ready to write or discuss a response to an irate customer on the spot – when given a scenario.
  14. Know what it takes to be a successful community manager.
  15. Have some general knowledge about social advertising.

I am going to stop there.

My point is this: So many people want jobs with “social media” in the title. They believe they’re qualified because they think it’s easy. It isn’t. You must be an active, motivated learner.

The expert of today becomes the idiot of tomorrow if they don’t stay on top of industry trends and strive to learn something new all the time.

If you’re actively looking for these types of positions, go in knowing that your personal use of social tools does not translate to business use. It is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

If you want it, do the work. And when you do get that interview, bring your A game. Anything less is a disservice to you and the person taking the time out of their day to give you a chance.


Author’s note: If you’re new here or a subscriber who hasn’t been around in a while, check out my new newsletter, New Media Minutes.

On this blog, I’ve always discussed all things community.

For those who have been with me for a long time, you know that I spent three years hard at work building a community at  because I shared so much about it and even wrote a book chronicling some of the experiences.  This blog was therapeutic for me during that time and I’ve certainly shared a whole lot about that experience.  I will write about community, engagement and social media for years to come.

But I do have interests beyond social media alone, most of which I shared through my Twitter account because I don’t want to alienate my readers here, who expect me to focus on a few particular areas.

I’m particularly interested in the intersection of paid, earned and owned media, an initiative I head as an SVP and Group Director at my day job.

SO, I want to share with those of you who are interested that I’ve launched a new newsletter called “New Media Minutes” which focuses on just that. Now, keep in mind that social media falls into all three:

  1. Your blog, and social platforms are “owned.”
  2. Tweets, blogs, Facebook posts,  forum mentions, etc… are “earned.”
  3. Facebook ads, Twitter promoted posts , LinkedIn and even sponsored blog posts are “paid.”

So. there is a great chance that you will be interested in the content I plan to share in the newsletter.  You’ve already missed the welcome newsletter, but that’s okay. A new one is coming out next week.  So, if you’re remotely interested, or you’ve followed some of the thought leaders in this space, like Jeremiah Owyang and Rebecca on the ling and consider signing up. If you don’t like what you see, you can just as easily unsubscribe.

And if community is all you want, stay here and forget I ever mentioned it. No harm, no foul. Have a great weekend!

Sign up to receive Angela Connor’s “New Media Minutes Newsletter.”

Pic of the bricks that fell from the wall during my dinner at a local restaurant.

The PR team at a local restaurant and those in their corporate office have a lot to smile about right now. They could be in the midst of a social media crisis.  But because I help clients work through such crises as part of my job, and they were pretty responsive to the situation, I decided to cut them a break.

Creating such a crisis and working to maintain its momentum takes a lot of work, and in my opinion requires strong emotions, of which I don’t have.

Yes, two bricks fell off the wall and hit me in the leg, while I was enjoying an appetizer with my daughters but I wasn’t seriously injured. I was more grateful that my daughters weren’t sitting in that spot, particularly my 7-year-old who could have really gotten hurt. Had that happened, there would have been a great deal of emotion and this story would be much different. But because I wasn’t overly-angry and felt that they were genuinely concerned, I opted to count my blessings and not cause much of a stir.

I did take a picture of the bricks and the area from which they’d fallen, and shared it on Facebook and Twitter. I did not tag the restaurant, nor did I insert its Twitter handle in the tweet, two critical elements when you want to get noticed and wreak a little havoc, which I’ve stated, was not my intent.

But here’s the problem. I was told by the Restaurant Manager and the General Manager that someone from the corporate office would follow up with me today. As of 11:29 p.m., that has not happened. This is a full 17 hours after it happened!

So, it makes me wonder if I should have handled this publicly. Had I done that, perhaps I would have gotten that phone call today. Both the shift manager and general manager said that someone would call and I was expecting that to happen. I was hit by two bricks unexpectedly, and I wanted to know that that meant something to the corporate office and that they cared. Sure they covered my meal, but it wasn’t about that. I went in prepared to pay for it and expected as much.

What I didn’t expect was the direct hit from the decorative bricks. Read the rest of this entry »

While everyone is seemingly on Facebook and Twitter, don’t think for a second that there is no room for smaller niche communities that cater to specific areas of interest. New online communities are launching all the time and those that don’t subscribe to the “if you build it they will come” fallacy can be quite successful despite the dominance of the big two.

I learned of two new online communities just this week: and Both cater to a very distinct audience. is a community for owner operators and property managers of multi-family housing. It allows them to connect with their peers and discuss industry issues. is a new community created by Freightliner Trucks, aimed at educating professional drivers on how to improve their profitability. Features include educational articles, blogs, operational tips and insight from professional drivers and “coaches” on how to be more successful.  Freightliner’s director of product marketing, TJ Reed says the Team Run Smart community is the “definitive guide to help business-minded drivers succeed,”

I think online communities are a fine choice and sometimes the best solution. Facebook and Twitter can be everything to everyone. Sometimes you need a closed, owned environment that doesn’t change every week, requiring you to adapt.

Doesn’t everyone know this by now? There is probably a 30-45 second window of safety for deleting a post from Facebook without fearing that it has been or will be seen by others. Once you’ve passed that time frame, you may as well keep it up because if you’re anyone of interest, chances are someone got a screenshot.

Just ask KQDS News Director Jason Vincent who posted this gem as a Facebook status update while on vacation:

“Add drunk, homeless, native American man to the list of animals that have wandered into my yard.”

I am not making this up, though I really wish I was. (Go back and read it a second time if you must. I will wait…..)

The result: protestors outside the station, an apology, and coverage on Lost Remote and TV Spy.

There has been some mention of the fact that Vincent was on “personal time” when he posted the update, but I fail to see the relevance. It’s not quite clear to me at all why that kind of comment would be justified whether you’re on personal or professional time.

Someone put way too much stock in Facebook’s privacy settings and not enough in the importance of common sense. Who knows what will happen next? I can’t imagine that the newsroom staff will be very supportive. However, stranger things have happened.

There’s one thing I am sure of in this case though:  This will not be the end.

So you want a job in social media? Great.

You obviously have what it takes to represent brands in the social space, right? Oh, and you’re an excellent communicator with fantastic verbal and written skills too aren’t you?

You know how to deal with conflict, handle crises and respond to irate customers publicly without digging a deeper hole and creating more trouble, I assume.

You care about brand awareness, lead generation and organic growth and you know exactly how to engage an online audience, right?

You measure everything and make changes in real-time when the results you are seeking aren’t coming to pass, and you have big ideas. You follow brands, test new social networks and read about interesting campaigns.

You take calculated risks. You read a lot more than Mashable and stay on top of emerging media trends and consumer habits.

You pay attention to the industry, download white papers and depend on your content aggregator for quick updates when you’re pressed for time.


I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you.

You don’t do any of this?

You thought that growing Facebook fans and amassing likes were the requirements for the position?

I see. Thanks for your time.

Have a great afternoon.

If the journalist vs. blogger debate hasn’t died yet, here’s some new fodder to either fuel it, or finally put it to rest. I say kudos to PR Newswire.

Here’s the skinny from PR Newswire:

NEW YORK, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — PR Newswire, the global leader of innovative marketing and communications solutions, today announced the launch of PR Newswire… for bloggers , a dedicated resource for self publishers, online journalists, hobbyists and other members of the ever-growing blogosphere.

PR Newswire… for bloggers features both original and third-party content relevant to a blogging audience, while also providing information about the range of services PR Newswire offers to bloggers, such as customized newsfeeds, listings of upcoming events, a news widget for websites and blogger media tour opportunities.

“PR Newswire recognizes the growing influence of bloggers and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to access the content, tools and information they need to develop their blogs and increase visibility,” said Thomas Hynes, manager, blogger relations, PR Newswire.  “PR Newswire…for bloggers is designed to be a one-stop shop, consolidating numerous resources into one comprehensive and easy-to-navigate space.”

Furthermore, each week, five new blogs are reviewed and profiled on the site. The compilation of blog reviews illustrates strong examples of blogging on a variety of subject matters. Currently, the site includes reviews of food, film and education blogs.  The chosen bloggers are also given a badge of recognition from PR Newswire to display on their site.

“There are so many great blogs out there – and that list grows daily,” said Hynes. “Our goal is to highlight some of those blogs we find interesting or influential – which ultimately comes down to engaging content.  Fortunately, there is no shortage of great blogs publishing just that so we shouldn’t run out of candidates any time soon.”

For more information on what PR Newswire is offering to bloggers, visit:

This is a news release I just had to share. I am after all, a Detroit native.

DETROIT, April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A group of Detroit businesses are encouraging the more than 2,000 recently laid off Yahoo employees to consider bringing their talents to the Motor City.

Quicken Loans, Detroit Venture Partners, Rockbridge Growth Equity and are among the downtown Detroit-based companies interested in hiring hundreds of technology and marketing professionals formerly employed by Yahoo.

The group has created a website,, for these technology and Internet marketing pros to upload their resumes.  The companies will immediately begin interviews and have committed to fly final candidates to Detroit to introduce them to the wide-range of established and start-up companies that have sprung up in the city’s emerging technology corridor over the past two years, creating the vibrant arts and entrepreneurial renaissance in Detroit that has gained the city national acclaim.

“Detroit is quickly emerging as one of the nation’s best kept secrets when it comes to technology, Internet and mobile-related jobs,” said Josh Linkner, CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, a Detroit-based high-tech venture capital fund.  “We know that there is a great deal of talent inside of Yahoo – especially in marketing and web development, and we’re encouraging those who have been impacted by job cuts to consider Detroit as the next stop in their career. Read the rest of this entry »

I am always on the lookout for interesting social media campaigns and initiatives.  I do this for two reasons: To fuel ideas for my work and motivate my team of social media practitioners, and to stay on top of how companies are integrating social media into their overall marketing and PR efforts to meet company goals.  Instead of keeping them all to myself, I am going to start sharing some of them here on my blog. Hopefully you will find some inspiration or at least gain fodder for new ideas.

So without further adieu, here is a list of three cool social media campaigns poised to generate buzz and a lot of attention (if they haven’t already.)

  1. Bounce Energy just launched a Facebook contest where one customer and a friend could win free electricity for a year! Now there’s an incentive to get involved. The contest launched yesterday and goes through April 30. To enter, Facebook users must “like” the page and fill out the entry form. Those who already “like” the page, are prompted to complete the form.You can see it for yourself, here.
  2. Urgent Animals at Fort Worth Animal Care and Control is a Facebook page that focuses on animals on the “E” list. The “E’ stands for euthanasia and through this Facebook page many of them have been  saved and found happy, loving homes. The mission of the page is to “give shelter animals extra exposure in hopes of getting them rescued or adopted.” According to a story in the Star-Telegram, about 1,000 dogs and cats have been saved through this Facebook page in the last year.
  3. The Toronto Street Food Project is a campaign with one mission: Bring better street food to Toronto! It’s mission is further clarified in a post on as this: “to try to ease the by-laws that are suffocating the Toronto street food scene.” The campaign makes it easy for Toronto residents to put pressure on their “councillors” by selecting their names from a drop down menu and submitting a pre-written from letter.  The Twitter hashtag #streetfoodto is another  major component of the campaign, with more than 1,000 tweets last week alone.

Those are three campaigns I found interesting over the last week or so. If you’ve seen any others, do share them in the comments. If this idea takes off I may consider a bi-weekly or monthly series of noteworthy social media campaigns.


Community managers are getting lazy. I think it’s because many who actually hold the title, aren’t really doing the job. On some level, it isn’t their fault. The people hiring them don’t know what they’re looking for and many are strictly numbers driven.

Success is measured in “likes” and ‘comments.” Job descriptions mention the growth of a Facebook or Twitter community, when there isn’t one in existence in the first place. Fans and followers do not constitute a community. But despite how I feel about that, which is all based on experience, the jobs are plenty and that is a good thing. But community management is an art and a craft that must be fostered and developed.

Real community managers know this. The others are simply  playing community managers on the internet.  And here’s how they operate. Here, I give you the five habits of highly ineffective community managers:

1. They are constantly asking users to help them reach specific milestones. You’ve seen it before: “Help us get to 5,000 fans,” “Like this post so we can beat our record of 90 likes on a single post,” Five more comments to reach 100, come!”  Does this sound familiar? I know you’ve seen it. This is the absolute laziest way to grow a community. It’s all about numbers to the people who do this. I hate to even refer to them as community managers. They could care less about actual engagement. They’re just looking for bragging rights.

Read the rest of this entry »

This day of appreciation may not be on your radar, but it is certainly on mine. The brainchild of Jeremiah Owyang, this is a day that is near and dear to my heart and one that allows us to reflect on the hard work that goes into the craft. It is not a science, but an art and anyone who holds this role has my unwavering empathy and support.

I can’t remember a time when I felt more alone, under appreciated, but yet completely enthusiastic and exhilarated, than when I was the community  manager of GOLO, at

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you are quite familiar with the ups and downs I experienced launching and growing that online community from zero to more than 13,000 members and the heart ache that came along with it. If you read my book, “18 Rules of Community Engagement,” you probably know even more.

Community Management is tough and it takes real comittment to see it through. It is not a job for the faint of heart or those who lack motivation and drive.

I can go on and on about what it takes to be a successful community manager, and I’ve done so in the past in posts like these:

But that’s not what tomorrow is about. It’s about you. If you’re a community manager, pat yourself on the back. If you participate in online communities, say thank  you to the folks who put out the fires and keep it interesting. It isn’t as easy as it looks.

And if you have the time, check out the hashtag #CMAD. I’m sure it will be blowing up the twitterverse as very well it should.

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day to those on the frontline and deep in the trenches.I support you more than you will ever know.

Make it great.


It’s time.

Give it up.

Your heart was in the right place, but you didn’t do anything to support your effort.You thought that building the community was enough. You never hired anyone to manage it. You mistakenly believed that your brand was so amazing and beloved, that people would flock to your community to have all of these grand conversations.

It didn’t happen, and you still don’t know why, despite the fact that it was barely promoted, if at all. You didn’t engage.

You never posted interesting content.

The content you did post was never updated. Okay, you updated it twice. Sorry about that.

You deleted comments that made your company look bad, instead of seizing the opportunities to connect.

Just quit. You’re giving community a bad name. Besides, you’re too swamped anyway. But you knew that going in.

I started off with the intention of giving you five reasons to shut down your community, but ended up with more.

You get  the point. Make a change or shut it down. I’m over it. And so is everyone else.

Stop faking it.

Now please, have a great day.


When I started this post, I planned to provide a few tips for landing a job in social media in 2012, but I found myself heading in a different direction.

After all, sometimes the best advice on what to do, comes from focusing on what *not* to do. So here are my thoughts on what you should avoid during an interview, if you’re hoping to land a job ( a legitimate, good job that is) in social media.

If you do not want to get called back for a second interview, do any of the following, and I bet you won’t: Read the rest of this entry »

I was promoted at work last week.

I’ve been the Social Media Manager for just about two years and now bear the title: Vice President, Director of Social Media. To say that I’m excited about the future and the increased expectations that come with my role would be an understatement. I have a great team that’s growing, and some of the best colleagues I’ve had in my entire career.

When I shared the news in a Facebook status update, the likes and comments went through the roof.  It was amazing to see the out pour of well wishes from family and friends and people I’ve worked with dating back to 1996.

But despite this new title, I am nowhere near complacent. Nor do I feel like I’ve reached a mountaintop. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a milestone for me. But to think that there is such a thing  as “arriving” or making it to the top in an industry that changes almost overnight is a huge mistake.

If anything, I am even more challenged now to stay on top of changes and trends and make sure that I am providing the best guidance for my team, my co-workers and our clients. I have to groom others to do the same kinds of things that I’ve done and even more.

I have to provide value and work even harder on integration and proving the value of social business.

In my mind, this is the beginning. I know so many people looking to get in social media who feel like all they need is that one position with a well-known (or maybe even not-so-well-known ) brand to claim themselves an expert. But that’s not how it works. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you ever written community guidelines, or worked with someone to get them started? I’ve done both, and there is one word that often comes up: “irrelevance.”

Community managers, particularly those connected to a consumer brand do not want irrelevant conversations in their community space. If it’s not about the company, the product or the service, they want no parts of it.

You may not see a problem with that perspective, but I believe that you should.

If you’re really looking to grow and sustain a community, and you really want people to connect, you have to leave some room for them to do that.  Is it really that bad if people go off-topic for a while?

If they’re doing it in your community, that means they feel some level of comfort there, which works in your favor.

It can’t always be about you. That may seem counter intuitive, but I am not speaking from theory, but practice.

People don’t connect on one topic alone. And the fact that other topics come into play from time-to-time proves that the wheels of true connections are in motion and good things are happening.

So, create your guidelines but don’t be so rigid that you miss opportunities for continued growth.


Guidelines are important, but interpretation is key

I spoke at Internet Summit 2011 yesterday on the truth about community management. I have heard such great things about the content in person and online, particularly on Twitter and I am so happy that people found it helpful. I always strive to be honest and forthright about my experiences and never sugarcoat what it takes to grow an online community.

I figure since there are so many people out there telling lies and spreading myths about social media, I am not needed to perpetuate the trend.

I did post a link to the presentation on Slideshare, but I’m also posting it here for those who may be interested.

Angela Connor’s presentation at Internet Summit 2011

Enjoy. And let me know if you have any questions. as you probably know, I can talk about this all day.


This is a cross-post from my Company blog.

How long does it take to anger a slew of fans on your own Facebook page? Let’s ask Nikon.

A status update posted on their Facebook wall yesterday has garnered 1,677 likes; 1,233 shares and 3,008 comments. Numbers to die for in most cases, but not this one. The backlash has also resulted in a new status update posted two hours ago, apologizing for the tone of the first one.

That post is up to 920 likes; 65 shares and 362 comments.

It all started with this update, posted by Nikon or whomever manages their page:

“A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures! Do any of our facebook fans use any of the NIKKOR lenses? Which is your favorite and what types of situations do you use it for?” 

I must say that this status update has all of the elements of engagement. A statement, and two decent follow up questions to get people chatting it up on the page. But the first sentence didn’t go over very well at all. In fact, it offended many, and that was quite clear in the comments.

Some of the complaints included:

  • “Camera equipment can make a difference but it does not make the photographer.”
  • “When you speak on behalf of a company you should be very sensitive regarding how your customers feel about your product.”
  • “The photographer is only as good as his or her brain.” 
  • “The equipment doesn’t matter. People have been getting great photos out of horribly outdated cameras and lenses for a century.
  • Obviously Nikon’s Marcom team have not seen great pictures taken with a improvised pinhole camera made out of an old shoebox or old beated up SLR camera.”

There were also a lot of people defending the post, so it wasn’t all bad. Many people seemed to understand that the intention was not to offend.

But if you take another look at those comments, you will also see that people expect better. These are your customers and people with an affinity for your brand. And that is serious business.

You have to make sure that the right person is representing you on Facebook and that they understand the rules of engagement. This isn’t the kind of work that you can just assign to anyone.

I am not indicating that this is or was the case with Nikon. My point here is that you have to be smart and think these things through. This can happen to anyone, but it is completely avoidable.

Remember, this is brand communications and it requires attention and strategy. It may be on Facebook, but so are your fans. And what happens on Facebook, clearly doesn’t stay – on Facebook.

Authors note: If you’d like to see the post and the comments, you can find them here.

When I see something smart, I just have to share it. And this move by the Phoenx Suns is just that…smart.

The Phoenix Suns will become the first NBA team to hire what they call a Social Sideline Reporter.

Now, I’m sure that there are other variations of this kind of position out there but to quote Beyonce, the Suns are “putting a ring on it” and making it official.

Here’s an excerpt of the position description from their website:

This unique position will play an exciting new role in the team’s home-game broadcasts on @FoxSportsAZ and @ArizonaSports620, as well as the experience at @USAirwaysCenter. The new game-night personality will provide quick social media updates, giving fans a voice within the broadcasts and in-arena presentation, and will also interact with the Suns’ followers throughout the game on Twitter.  

And to make it even cooler, auditions must be posted on your social network of choice, using the hashtag #socialsideline. Again, smart.

I haven’t been this excited since NASA was looking for someone to live tweet the shuttle launch, and the winner found out about it from my tweet promoting it.

You can learn more about the position here.

Kudos to the folks behind this idea. I’m sure the fans will love it. You’ve clearly listened to them and you’re doing something about it.

I’m sure this will be replicated sooner than later.


This is a cross-post from my company blog.

It’s one thing to gripe on Twitter. People expect it. If it’s a customer service issue and you’re lucky – the right person from Company X will see it, work to resolve your issue, and you can move on. It’s a common occurrence these days as some companies are offering better customer service on Twitter than they are over the phone and in person.  But that’s a post for a different day.

Back to the griping.

Because Twitter is so fast-paced chances are, the majority of your followers won’t even see the gripes if they are few and far between. You are in no way classified as a common complainer and can easily go back to your normal way of tweeting. No harm, no foul.

But when you post the same kind of content as an update on LinkedIn, it attaches to your profile page and is visible to anyone who happens to view your profile.  Now remember, this is a professional network. What you want to appear in that space is something that reflects positively on you or your business. (I recently posted  link to a video highlighting some of the work Capstrat’s social media team has done on Facebook.)

What you don’t want is something that casts you in a bad light or leaves a bad impression on someone who may be interested in working with or for you, hiring you, or gleaning a bit of information from your profile to make some other decision about you.

I came across a LinkedIn profile today that had an update filled with Time-Warner bashing. And you know what? I wasn’t phased by the bashing at all even though there’s a great chance that all of his claims are true. I was more concerned about the person who was willing to sacrifice their own image on a professional social network, just to blast Time Warner. In my opinion, that is a major mistake. This person may be the best of the best in their field, but after reading that rant about Time Warner, which shows just below his name and current position, I wanted to get as far away from him as possible.

Now what if I wanted to hire him or contact him about an opportunity? I am now questioning his professionalism and quite honestly have lost interest.

You’ve heard it before, but with social media, you have to be smart. You can’t post everything that crosses your mind. Be selective about what and where you post. And when it comes to LinkedIn, keep it professional.

Save your gripes for Twitter, where they belong.

Now that admins of Facebook fan pages can comment on Facebook profiles and other fan pages as the representatives of those pages, not themselves, there is going to be a huge wave of unwanted content floating around. (If you want details, read this Mashable post.)

I’m going to go all out and call it a tsunami.

We are finally going to see the difference between true community managers who understand their craft and those who simply play one on the internet.

Do you know how tempting it is going to be for admins to post all over other fan pages and go directly to individual profile pages and start pushing their messaging?


Think about it. You can now just trot on over to any profile page and start pushing all kinds of marketing messages. “Visit our page,” “Buy our stuff,” “Come download our coupon,” “We just posted a new brochure, you’ll love it.”

Get my drift? And that’s just scratching the surface.

It’s one thing to remove unwanted messages from your inbox, but constantly removing from your wall? The average Joe, non-marketing Facebook user isn’t ready for this at all. I think it will get ugly fast.

For those who have never learned proper etiquette for marketing through online communities, there is a real chance that they will crash and burn.

One horror story I always like to share at speaking events is about a guy who joined the online community I managed and uploaded 750 pictures of wrist watches. It was unbelievable. As you can probably imagine, he was marked as abuse and the matter was brought to my attention fast.

It wasn’t part of the culture. If he’d bothered to study how the community worked, spent some time observing other members, and avoided the temptation to pounce — he would have found a better way to get their attention.  But I digress.

Because this is a new opportunity for Facebook page admins, whose experience and credentials run the gamut,there are no agreed-upon or established rules.I don’t doubt that this change will enable brands, businesses and organizations to build stronger relationships with their fans, as mentioned on Socialbakers, but I do anticipate a wild, wild, west mentality unless Facebook has some plans in place to keep it at bay.

I suppose that removing posts and hiding them could be sufficient. But that’s only if the tsunami heads in a different direction.

On this one, we’ll just have to wait and see.

With new Facebook fan pages, the rules of engagement matter more than ever


Are more relevant than ever.


Now that admins of Facebook fan pages can comment on Facebook profiles and other fan pages as the representatives of those pages, not themselves, there is going to be a huge wave of unwanted content floating around. I’m going to go all out and call it a tsunami.

We are finally going to see the difference between true community managers who understand their craft and those who simply play one on the internet.

Do you know how tempting it is going to be for admins to post all over other fan pages and go directly to individual profile pages and start pushing their messaging?


Think about it. You can now just trot on over to any profile page and start pushing all kinds of marketing messages. “Visit our page,” “Buy our stuff,” “Come download our coupon,” “We just posted a new brochure, you’ll love it.”

Get my drift.

It’s one thing to remove unwanted messages from your inbox, but constantly removing from your wall? The average Joe, non-marketing Facebook user isn’t ready for this at all. I think it will get ugly fast.

For those who have never learned proper etiquette for marketing through online communities, there is a real chance that they will crash and burn.

One horror story I always like to share at speaking events is about a guy who joined the online community I managed and uploaded 750 pictures of wrist watches. It was unbelievable.

As you can probably imagine, he was marked as abuse and the matter was brought to my attention fast.

It wasn’t part of the culture. If he’d bothered to study how the community worked, spent some time observing other members, and avoided the temptation to pounce — he would have found a better way to get their attention.

Because this is a new opportunity for Facebook page admins, whose experience and credentials run the gamut,there are no established rules. I anticipate a wild, wild, west mentality unless Facebook has some plans in place. I suppose that removing posts and hiding them could be sufficient. But that’s only if the tsunami heads in a different direction.

In its fourth annual study of online community performance, member engagement and social media integration, ComBlu has delivered a stellar report that should serve as an eye-opener for brands and those advising brands on their overall social strategies heading into 2013 and beyond.

The 2012 State of Online Branded Communities report provides insights on the inner-workings of more than 200 online communities across 92 corporations and 15 industries and is a must-read for community managers, social media managers and brand managers, period!
I’ll go into a few of the key takeaways in a minute, but what stood out most to me was the acceptance of an “All-Facebook and Twitter” community ecosystem, mentioned on page 4. The authors go into detail about how this approach truncates engagement and prevents the formation of deeper affinity, on which I certainly agree.

I’ve long held the belief that Twitter and Facebook aren’t necessarily communities, and I can say this because I managed a branded “owned” community for three years and know with 100% certainty that it is an entirely different animal.

(See my post Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager from 2010 for more on my thoughts…)

In the report, the All-Facebook and Twitter” approach is referenced as a “social experience with a brand” which is a great way to explain it. It isn’t the highest level of engagement. There’s a difference.

Other key findings include:

  • Activity levels are generally healthy but fairly static across the board.
    While 43 percent of communities are enjoying high-levels of activity, that’s a mere one percent jump from last year.
  • Optimizing the member experience remains an aspirational goal.
  •  Telecommunications is the sole industry with high activity levels across all brands; pharmaceutical industry exhibited the lowest activity
  • Top performing industries include telecommunications, gaming, technology and consumer electronics, entertainment, and consumer products-beverage.
  • Brands that are “community superstars” include Verizon, SAP, Sony PlayStation, EA, AT&T, Bravo, IBM, Cisco, Kraft, Microsoft, Sprint, Xbox, Sears, T-Mobile and Whole Foods.

Too busy to read it today? Take a look at the infographic.  ComBlu is releasing the report and additional information this morning at the WOMMA Summit.
I’m sure there will be some great tweets during the announcement, so be sure to follow the twitter hashtag #WOMMASummit for updates.

I’m in the process of finishing a short ebook called “Crafting Community Guidelines,” which I started a while back to help first-time community managers with the tall task of community governance. As I went back to make updates and prepare the layout I found a few of my old blog posts that were written when I was deeply involved in managing a community. In the post: “Guidelines are important, but interpretation is key,” I wrote a lot about not being a robot and having the ability to act on your emotions. This is not to say that you shouldn’t adhere to guidelines, but that there are sometimes exceptions to the rule. 

Here it is, as written on July 5, 2009:

It is important to have community guidelines. They are imperative for any online community. Members need to know what is expected of them and what types of behaviors are frowned upon or prohibited within the community.

I remember creating the guidelines for the community I manage. It was laborious but imperative.  I scoured the internet for guidelines from other communities and then thought a lot about what kind of community I’d like to see take shape.

Writing such guidelines can make you feel as though you’re building an environment where all will be well. You think that people will refer to these guidelines and perhaps even follow them.

But having those guidelines in place does not make every call I make as a community manager, an easy one.  In fact, I rarely go back to them when making tough decisions. Guidelines are a starting point. Interpreting those guidelines is how you become an effective community manager. The way you do that interpreting can make or break you.

This job is not about being a robot. It’s emotional and we are human.You can stare at the guidelines all day long and never get the answers you need when things get complicated. I know that many of my peers will argue the point and say that guidelines are guidelines. You follow them or you go.  But it’s not that easy with me.

Let me illustrate why I feel this way:  A few months ago a long-time member had posted several comments and even a blog or two that were directed at another member. The comments were mean and degrading. It was really out of character for her. Were those comments abusive according to the guidelines? Yes. I could have stopped right there, marked her comments and blogs as abuse and she would have lost her posting privileges, community profile, the works. In most cases, that should probably be the outcome.

BUT…I knew that her dog had just been hit by a car and died because she’d been blogging about it since the day it happened  and it looked like she was responding to someone who had been taunting her about that.  His comments, however,  had NOT been reported as abuse so it all looked very one-sided.

I sent her an email letting her know that I was not going to dock her for the comments because I knew she was in an emotional state. But I also warned her that she must take control of her emotions because I would not do it again.

She responded with great gratitude and apologized profusely for allowing herself to get sucked in by someone else and for resorting to such antics. She said that she just couldn’t take it because she was feeling guilty about letting her dog run out into the street and his comments about her negligence pushed her over the cyber-edge. She did not want to lose her privileges.

For me, that was time well spent. I know it doesn’t scale, and that’s a real issue for me as the community grows, but that’s the kind of community manager I like to be. One who can empathize and know enough about the members to make a difference.

Guidelines don’t empathize.

You can.

This post was inspired by #CmtyChat, (created by Sonny Gill and Bryan Person) a weekly meeting of the minds where community enthusiasts chat via Twitter about all that ails us and then some.

Note: You can expect to see the ebook referenced earlier: “Crafting Community Guidelines” in a few weeks.


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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.


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