I had the opportunity to moderate the weekly conversation known as #CmtyChat yesterday, and what a great experience it was.  This weekly chat, (which I have attended since its inception)  started out on Twitter but has since migrated to Friendfeed, where the conversation flows and is no longer limited to 140 characters.

The invitation came from co-founder and Social Media Strategist, Sonny Gill, and I was more than happy to accept. I was given free reign in the topic department, so I’m sure it surprises no one that I chose my favorite subject of engaging and growing communities.

I posed seven questions to the group of talented folks in attendance and the conversation was pretty robust. If you have any interest in communities, the transcript is worth a read.

I will provide each question below, with a link to the conversation that followed so you can get to know some of the contributors and maybe even consider subscribing to their feeds and following them on Twitter.  If you’d like to read more, and see questions and conversations from previous chats, visit the Friendfeed room known as Community Chat.

By the way, the #cmtychat is the brainchild of Bryan Person as well as Sonny Gill. You can find them both on Twitter.
Now, on to the discussion questions:
Q1:Community Managers know what it means to engage a community. Share with us what it means to you.

Q2:Tell us about any features or franchises you’ve created within your community that have taken off? Example: I created the GOLO profiles, where I interview and profile a single member. People love it. What do you do?

Q3: How do disruptive members stifle engagement? Example: Hijack posts with nonsense? And what do you do about it?

Q4: Jon said his “Food Haiku” opened up lurkers when he was at Whole Foods. How else can we pull in the lurkers?

Q5: What about other communities. Do you connect with members of the community you manage on other platforms?

Q6: Do you operate as a member of your own community by commenting, posting images, blogging, chatting or participating in ways similar to the community?

Q7: What is the biggest misconception about what it takes to successfully engage and keep a community engaged over time?

For more on my personal thoughts and experience growing and engaging online communities, consider reading my book, 18 Rules of Community Engagement. If you’d like a review a copy, feel free to contact me directly.

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