You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2009.

Disney made a major announcement today. One that I think has huge implications for the future of TV, particularly local TV which depends heavily on network programming. (Disclosure: I work in the New Media division of a local TV station.)

Disney is joining NBC Universal and News Corp (NBC & Fox) on Hulu. Here is the text of the e-mail alert I received about this move:

The Walt Disney Co. is joining fellow multimedia giants NBC Universal and News Corp. as stakeholders and providers of content to the growing TV Web site. Disney is promising to distribute a host of programming via the service, including such ABC staples as Lost, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty.

I don’t know about you, but I see this as a big deal. Now, I know that not everyone watches TV online, but a heck of a lot of people do, and with more and more popular shows becoming available on Hulu, habits are surely to change. I’ll admit, Hulu is like a TV programming buffet and once you spend time there, you are more than likely to return. This is where it’s all headed.

More from the release:

“Hulu, quite simply, now has the best premium content on the web,” said Peter Chernin, president and COO, News Corp. “With three major networks and over 150 leading content providers providing content, combined with the best video user interface anywhere on the web, Hulu offers consumers the finest premium online video experience available today.”

Think about it, the DVR has saved our busy lives. Some people don’t even know when their favorite shows actually air and depend solely on the DVR to record them for later viewing. So again, we know where this is going.

The opportunity I see here is in the building online communities. If you weren’t already convinced that online use would continue to explode, perhaps this does the job. And with all of these new folks spending more and more time online, the pool for community members and those interested in joining communities grows exponentially.

So put a good number of your eggs in the online community basket. And figure out how you can start building communities or using your expertise to help others because the demand will be there.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 Subscribe in a reader

Advertisements

I posted a blog a few weeks ago when a well-regarded, highly popular member of my online community died. I gave it the royal treatment and kept a tribute to him on the homepage of the site for several days. I even created a gallery to showcase all of the posts from other members honoring his memory.

Well, guess what? Another member died this week. He joined the community the day after we launched and was one of the first 100 members. We are now beyond 12,000.

He went by the name “GoPanthers” and had not been as active as he once was, but I do recall his presence during several of the live debate blogs I hosted during the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates. I also looked back on some of my early editor’s blogs and shared posts that illustrated his high level of activity in our early days for members who may not have known his history.

His most recent blog spoke of an upcoming surgery that had him a bit concerned.

I have to say that I struggled with how to handle the profile and content of the first member that died. I ended up posting that he had passed away along with links to the tributes that had been posted in his honor. I initially thought that the best thing to do was remove it, but then I started reading all of the comments. The community was posting their condolences directly on his page and even talking to him directly. There was no way I could do away with such heartfelt sentiments! The same is happening with this member.

So while I feel as though I need a policy (actually I know I do) I think I’m leaning towards keeping the profiles and simply posting a note about the death as I did in the first case. Perhaps this shouldn’t be an emotional decision and I think that’s why I haven’t made it. I want to give the community what it wants. Maybe I’ll pose the question in a week or so and see if there is some consensus on the matter.

What do you think? How do you handle deaths in your community? I’d love to know as I embark on this important decision.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Subscribe in a reader

I’ve been blogging here for a year now. It has become a real passion and I am extremely grateful for the people who visit often, provide feedback and share their thoughts in the comments section.
My first post was April 8, 2008. I got the courage to start this blog after reading blogs like Community Spark and Community Guy. I admired Martin and Jake from afar and they unknowingly influenced me to start this blog.

I’ve compiled a list of some of my early posts, (when I was likely the only reader) for your reading pleasure. If you’re a regular, I hope you like the direction of the blog and I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions, would like to guest blog or if you’d like me to write about a specific topic.
Thanks for being here. I appreciate your time more than you could possibly know!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Subscribe in a reader

Making social media work for you is the title of my session tomorrow at the High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina.  In case you don’t follow the furniture industry, let me tell you, this event is HUGE. Actually, it’s more than that.

The High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 85,000 people to High Point every six months. According to the website, “serious retail home furnishings buyers can be found in High Point twice a year because if you can’t find it in High Point it probably doesn’t exist.” Okay, so you now get that I’ll be talking to a lot of people in the furniture industry.

I held a session last year on a very similar topic but tweaked it this year based on the feedback I’ve received from attendees at all of my other speaking engagements since then.

So, I really think this audience will hear a good message from me tomorrow, that has been honed by the questions and concerns of others, some who found social media overwhelming. Last year I spoke specifically about online communities. Tomorrow I am talking about choices.

My message is this: Identify your goals and plan your social media strategies based on those goals. Anything else is a waste of time. You need a mission and a plan so you can do what works for you.

Because at the end of the day, what works for others may not be a raging success for you. Social media is NOT one-size fits all, and it’s time to tell it like it is.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Subscribe in a reader

I have a new goal.

I don’t have a time-frame, nor a target college or university but I know that I’d like to teach a college course on building communities. I have the curriculum laid out in my head.

I would require each student to nurture and grow their online community AND use various social media platforms to promote it and garner interest in the site. They’d have to pitch five ideas for a niche community and I would approve two, giving them the final say.  They’d be graded on how well they engage, how often they contribute, how well they grow the community and how they communicate within it.

This course could be in the Communications or Journalism department. Heck, it could even be in the Business Department. It doesn’t really matter where it lives because it is an essential skill.

We should not assume the Gen Y’ers know how to do this because they spend a great deal of time in the social media space. They are focused on other things and I’m talking about something entirely different.

I believe wholeheartedly that a decent track record of building communities will open a lot of doors. There are going to be MANY companies late to the game and they’ll need people who know how to build successful online communities. I read a post today about confidence, that sealed the deal for me and I now believe that I can pull this off.

I haven’t pitched this to anyone yet, but I will. I’m in the Raleigh area, where there are tons of great schools, but with the internet I can do it for anyone.

Who knew how handy that Distance Education course I took through Penn State’s World Campus a few semesters back would affect me?

So here it is. A distance education course on The Fundamentals of Building Communities. That’s it. That is what I want to do.  Now, I will formalize it and start looking for opportunities.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future posts delivered to your feed reader.

Online Community Strategist

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Have I mentioned my most recent appointment as lead on a social media task force at my company? I know I’ve tweeted about it and posted status updates on both Facebook and LinkedIn, but perhaps I’ve failed to mention it here.

My passion for social media, voluntary brand monitoring and general evangelism put me in a great position as the obvious lead and the endorsements came straight from the top. I’m proud of that, and I won’t hide that fact.

But what I’m most excited about is how quickly we’ve been able to move and the level of excitement and commitment to this endeavor exhibited by the powers that be. With my role I’ve tried to do more listening than talking in an attempt to really understand how social media is viewed by others, so I could get my arms around any skepticism and capture the essence of what our brand means to those charged with owning it.

All of that resulted in a great mission statement. One with character, integrity and a bit of calculated risk that will allow us to try new things and even have fun along the way.

Once everyone approved the mission statement we moved on to the first set of guidelines which were compiled by a much smaller group. I figured we should have active twitter users creating guidelines for that platform so I invited a core group to the table to do that and it worked very well.

We met on Tuesday and had a finalized document that represents the mission statement to the fullest, two days later.

The mission statement is what it’s all about. It’s the ultimate guide. I encourage anyone currently active in the social media space or planning to become active to take a step back and really think about you want to accomplish and work on a mission statement that reflects that, Once you have that, the rest will come.

RELATED POSTS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Subscribe in a reader

As someone who believes in the power of online communities, I am always happy to see a new one launch, particularly when it focuses on a subject that is underrepresented and has the potential to help a great deal of people.

In this case, it’s FertilityTies.com.

Founded by community veteran Veronica Alvarez, the site offers support and answers to those faced with infertility or trying to conceive.

Among the features of FamilyTies.com are accredited medical professionals who are dedicated to the site, forums for discussion and the latest fertility news according to the press release.

The feature that caught my eye was the live chat visible on every page.

So spread the word. And please let me know about any other interesting communities you may encounter.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future posts delivered to your feed reader.
Share on FriendFeed
Get the blog delivered to your inbox

Online Community Strategist

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Indian Premier LeagueI came across a tweet today about a new online community for IPL lovers. It read: “Finally a community for IPL lovers” and linked to this blogpost.

Upon reading the post, I learned that this community consists of more than 68,000 members. So, given my passion about online communities, I had to know more.

You see, I know from living in South Florida for six years that Cricket is huge in the Caribbean. Well I now know that it’s even bigger in India. I saw a match once and it was interesting enough but I can’t say that I’d rush to see another.

However, I have reached out to the DLF Indian Premier League–the creators of the community for an interview and will hopefully get one to post here on Online Community Strategist.

In the meantime, I joined the community. The default choice for favorite team is the Bangalore Royal Challengers and the default favorite player, Aakash Chopra. So those are my new favorites. I even watched a video called “Funny Cricket Moments.” I’m sure I would have laughed if I knew what was going on, but I didn’t. It was posted today and has more than 4,000 views so it must be pretty funny.

The point here is we have to be willing to learn from everyone. For someone to post that there is “finally” an online community on any topic is a testament to the desire to belong to such communities and the power that comes with them.

So join new communities, even some that are outside of your interests and learn a few things. You’ll be better for it.

Go Bangalore Royal Challengers!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future posts delivered to your feed reader.

Stumble It!

Share on FriendFeed
Get the blog delivered to your inbox

Online Community Strategist

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Unless you’re new here, you know that I’m writing a book called “18 Rules of Community Engagement.” You may have even visited my book website.

Several people, (10 to be exact) have read a great amount of the book and offered their endorsements, so that’s 10 people who think it’s a good read and none of them are in my immediate family.

But now that the book is close to launch, I want to share the final rules that made the cut. Here are the 18 rules you will find in the book filled with examples, anecdotes and my experiences with each:

Chapter 4: Stroke a few egos
Chapter 5: Don’t be pushy
Chapter 6: Provide useful information
Chapter 7: Ask Questions
Chapter 8: Use your influence
Chapter 9: Pour on the compliments
Chapter 10: Know and respect the culture
Chapter 11: Complain, Complain, Complain!
Chapter 12: Make it Personal
Chapter 14: Seek expert advice and opinions
Chapter 13: Ask for help
Chapter 15: Accept and respond to criticism
Chapter 16: Make small talk
Chapter 17: Tune-out troublemakers
Chapter 18: Showcase and acknowledge good work
Chapter 19: Don’t try to please everyone
Chapter 20: Manage expectations
Chapter 21: Realize your work is never done

If you’re interested in Chapter 4, go to my book website and join the mailing list. Once you do that, you’ll receive Chapter 4, Stroke a few egos, in its entirety.

Enjoy!

RELATED POSTS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future posts delivered to your feed reader.

Stumble It!

Share on FriendFeed
Get the blog delivered to your inbox

Online Community Strategist

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

As community managers we should never be so desperate for members that we allow ourselves or others to be repeatedly abused by any one member. Nor should we be afraid to communicate publicly if and when a message needs to be sent.

I know that some of my peers would disagree with me here, and I’m okay with that. Many believe that any strong words or difficult exchanges should happen behind the scenes, via e-mail, if at all.

I agree with that to a certain extent, but we also have to recognize that no two communities are  the same therefore the same styles of community management don’t always transfer. We need to agree on that because it is simply the truth.

I have suggested to a few members, after observing their behavior and interaction within the community, that perhaps my community isn’t for them. One gentleman in particular was always pushing the envelope with risque photos. I told him as gently as I could that he should look into some of the types of communities that appreciate that kind of art as they are quite pervasive across the web. I posted this publicly on his profile where anyone could view it.  After all, he was posting the photos publicly on the site for all to see so to me that was appropriate.

It also illustrates concern for other members and I really think there is value in letting the community see some of that for themselves.  They need to know that you are working to keep your community in tact.

We cannot be afraid to speak openly and be direct. If you don’t think so, it’s only because you haven’t yet experienced a real reason to do it. Or it may be that your community is new and you deem it too risky. I’ve been there and I understand.

But when you’ve got a group of renegades wreaking havoc on the community, or trolls coming out in droves,  nice personal e-mails may not be tough enough. I’ve addressed some of these types of behaviors through blog posts like this one, and this one.

You have to learn how to put your foot down and stand strong when it’s appropriate. And only you will know when that is.

RELATED POSTS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future posts delivered to your feed reader.

Stumble It!

Share on FriendFeed
Get the blog delivered to your inbox

Online Community Strategist

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Get my Book

A must read - 18 rules of Community Engagement

My Twitter Updates

April 2009
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Just so you know

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.

del.icio.us

StatCounter

hits counter

Blog Stats

  • 107,289 hits
View Angela Connor's profile on LinkedIn Subscribe to me on FriendFeed
Clicky

Top Rated