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CommunityBuilders: The State of Community Management 2011 with Rachel Happe

Gran Canaria - Degollada De Las Yeguas in the WinterIf you would remember, late last year, over at CommunityBuilders, one of our IBM internal communities of community facilitators, we had the great pleasure, and true honour, of having with us guest speaker Rachel Happe, co-founder from The Community Roundtable, come and present, along with Jim Storer, on The State of CommunityManagement 2010. That session was one of the most commented and interactive we had throughout the whole year and, of course, we decided to go and come back for more. So I am pleased to share over here with all of you “The State of Community Management 2011 with Rachel Happe“.

That’s right! A couple of weeks back we had the opportunity of inviting Rachel again to come and talk to us about the absolutely wonderful piece of work by The Community Roundtable folks on the yearly free whitepaper “The 2011 State of Community Management“. And, once again, another rather popular session with lots of interactions and great conversations on the side. So after things have quiet down a bit, specially with my crazy travelling schedule as of late, I am really happy I am finding an opportunity now to come and share with you folks over here some further details on how you can get a copy of the slides that Rachel used, as well as the recording of both audio and video of the event itself.

As a starting point, you can download the slide deck from CommunityBuilders – The State of Community Management 2011 with Rachel Happe and the recording from this other link. The replay lasts for a little bit over one hour, so you may want to go and watch it over a cup of coffee / tea, or two. At the same time, and as a teaser to what you will be able to find on that education session, Rachel pointed me as well to this Slideshare presentation they have which covers a similar set of slides you could peek through:

So, what else can you expect from watching the replay? Well, as a starting point you would be able to get a good reminder, and a refresher, of the excellent Community Maturity Model along with a good dive into the main key themes from the 2011 study / research:

  • “Social Business Becomes A Strategic Imperative
  • Interest in Community Management Has Increased
  • The Community Management Discipline Is Evolving
  • A Lot of Confusion Remains”

From there onwards, Rachel, once again, did a great job in describing how those new findings translate into a really nice bunch of good / next practices for each and everyone of the various elements from the Maturity Model, which would mean it would give folks a great opportunity to learn some new tricks on the art of community building, as well as find out some pretty interesting nuggets on how leadership stands with regards to Social Business and Community Facilitation, from a recent survey they conducted as well. Truly fascinating, specially, the data around culture lagging…

Now, don’t worry, I am not going to spoil it for you any further, since otherwise you wouldn’t need to listen to the recording any longer hehe. Just hope these teasers would give you enough ground to go ahead and take a look, as we are approaching the weekend and have perhaps a bit more time to go through it than through the regular week at work ;-) I can tell you though that it would be worth while your time. Every minute of it.

From here onwards, I would just want to take the opportunity to share a special Thanks!! with Rachel for being with us, once again, and we surely look forward to further interactions in this fine art of managing and facilitating online communities. Later on, in its due time, I will share across another blog post where I will comment further more in detail about The State of CommunityManagement 2010 full report, which I can surely recommend you have a read, if you would want to learn plenty more of the traits behind successful community management. That is, learning new tricks right from the horse’s mouth, The Community Roundtable, if you would ask me…

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CommunityBuilders – Online Community Still Crazy After Years with Nancy White

Gran Canaria - Almond Tree and Its Beautiful BlossomContinuing further with that series of blog posts I mentioned in the recent past I would start sharing across on the topic of online community building and facilitating successful communities, as another one of my passions and areas of interest, I thought I would drop by over here today and share further details on a recent education event, that we hosted back in March in one of the IBM communities I co-lead with some other fellow colleagues, CommunityBuilders, and which I am think plenty of folks out there would find it rather interesting, specially, after you find out who our special guest speaker was… Intriguing, eh? hehe I am really happy that I have now got the time to finally share it across with you folks: it was our great pleasure, and true honour, to have with us, for an entire hour, one of the people who has been rather instrumental in helping spark my own interest in online facilitation and online communities over 11 years ago. And I bet that has been the case for several other thousands of people out there, too! Yes, of course, I am talking about the one and only: Nancy White.

If you have been involved with virtual communities and online facilitation, I bet it’s almost impossible not having come across the absolutely fabulous work on facilitating online communities Nancy has done, and shared across!, over the course of the years. Her work around Online Community Toolkit is probably one of those essential resources for any community manager, leader, facilitator out there who may want to get things started with their own online communities, or take existing ones into the next level of interactions. Her book, co-authored with Etienne Wenger and John Smith, on Digital Habitats – Stewarding Technology for Communities is probably what I would consider a bible on online facilitation, community building and community tooling.

I am sure that in a future blog post I would have an opportunity to put together a blog post where I can talk, much more in detail, about the contents of the book and how folks out there interested in both virtual and physical communities could benefit from it. But for now, back to the event we hosted a few weeks back… When I asked Nancy whether she would like to be our special guest speaker for CommunityBuilders by the end of last year and she confirmed she would be with us, I was really excited about the opportunity of finishing off the year with a big splash for our community online events. Alas, life had other plans for all of us, and we eventually hosted the event by the end of March! Talking about perseverance and stubbornness, I guess, right? Either way, we kicked off this year with a great start altogether!

Nearly a month later, I am very pleased to, finally, share across with you folks both the presentation materials that Nancy used during that one hour virtual event, as well as the recording of both the video and audio of the session itself, so that you all would have an opportunity to listen to her pitch while going through the slides. It was an hour long session, where Nancy covered some of the basics behind the concept of Community (And how not everything out there, other groupings, may necessarily be a community), how both technology and community are walking through a rather thin line influencing one another, for the better, in defining how community members connect with one another and how those connections influence the path technology is following; and from there onwards she dived into an engaging conversation with the rest of the audience through a rather lively Q&A session covering a whole bunch of topics going from examples of effective community tooling, communicating efficiently with your community members, measuring the value of communities towards their stakeholders, biggest new challenges for online communities today, promoting and engaging activities for communities, etc. etc.

Thus I guess I better stop here, for now, and cut right to the chase, sharing with you folks the link to the materials, so that you can have a look right away and dive into them. The link to the video recording can be found over at “CommunityBuilders Monthly Call – Online Community Still Crazy After Years with Nancy White” (30 MB download) and you can download a copy of the slides over at Slideshare or start checking the deck through the embedded code below:


There is very little more than I would want to add after sharing those resources across, other than encouraging you all to have a look and take the time to download the recording and go through the slides. If you are into online communities, community building and community tooling, it will be worth your time. I can surely vouch for that! We all learned tons! And, once you are done with that, let me also take this opportunity to point you to a recent blog post that a good friend of mine, Matt Moore, shared across over at the Innotecture blog, where he shared three wonderful short interviews (No more than 8 minutes long, for the longest…), where both Nancy and Matt covered the following topics:

  1. “Nancy discusses how networks and communities overlap and differ and what this means for us as members.
  2. Nancy and Matt Moore discuss how to keep community sponsors, community members and yourself happy.
  3. Nancy and Matt Moore discuss how to pay attention to online community dynamics

They were worth it, weren’t they? Lots of wonderful insights shared across in them as well, mainly, on the topic of online communities and (social) networks and how they both work together in unison to get the most out of those member interactions and their conversations. From here onwards nothing else from my side to add, other than to take this opportunity to share a special Thanks!! with Nancy herself for taking the time of being with us at CommunityBuilders and for being such a wonderful inspiration throughout the years! She probably doesn’t know this, but one of the reasons why I am so passionate about collaboration and online communities in general is due to her own contagious passion, expertise and know-how that she continues to share over the course of the years! Mesmerising!

Thanks ever so much, Nancy! Hope you folks enjoy the recording and the materials, just as much as we did! :)

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CommunityBuilders: The State of Community Management 2010 with Rachel Happe and Jim Storer

The Community RoundtableI think I have mentioned it in the past, over here, in this blog, as well how, inside of the company I work for, we do have this rather special Community of Community Managers / Facilitators / Leaders that over the course of 10 years it’s become one of those essential resources available out there to all of those fellow IBM community facilitators (That’s my preferred term, so from now onwards I’ll stick around with that one…), and to whoever else internally who may be interested, in general, in the topic of (online) communities, as a hang out place where they could share stories, experiences, their know-how, good practices, facilitation materials, community building techniques, etc. etc. in order to help and support one another facilitating their own communities much more effectively. And so far the model seems to have been working really well, specially nowadays when online communities seem to be more popular and resourceful than ever!

The fact that the community has been running for over 10 years is probably a good indication as well of how important and paramount it’s become for IBM’s community facilitators out there. It’s had a couple of dormant stages in the past, but all along it’s been thriving with a bunch of passionate community builders who want to increase the overall involvement and engagement from their own communities members. Yes, that’s right! That’s the name of the community: CommunityBuilders.

One of the various different activities that we organise for this specific community is actually monthly general education events around the topic of community building, more than anything else to help them keep up with the fast and rampant pace that online communities are growing under, further on, at the moment. I am one of the co-leaders of the community, along with a couple of other folks, and we are always looking for rather interesting and noteworthy education events that these community builders could benefit from, whether with internal or external speakers.

In August we had the great pleasure, and true honour, of having with us Steve Dale, who spent a bit over one hour with us talking about How to Build and Sustain Online Communities; session which, if you would remember, I blogged about over here, in case you would want to refer to it back again. Well, for September we had another couple of external guest speakers, two of my favourite people in online community management; Rachel Happe and Jim Storer, co-founders of The Community Roundtable initiative.

If you are already familiar with the fine work The Community Roundtable folks have been doing over the course of the last few months around successfully facilitating online communities and sharing plenty of those good practices, there is probably very little introduction that I need to do. However, if you haven’t heard about them, and you are facilitating an online community yourself, I can strongly encourage you all folks to check this superb blog post that Rachel herself shared a little while ago under the heading “The Community Maturity Model“, which comes to talk about perhaps one of the more comprehensive and resourceful maturity models that may exist for (online) communities out there. It surely is worth while a read!

So, like I said, back in September, we had both Rachel and Jim with us for about an hour sharing plenty of great insights on a piece of work they have done just recently which I think would also be worthwhile going through it over here as well. Now, Jim helped out facilitating, along with a couple of us, the backchannel that we had in place for this event, while Rachel was taking it away and delivering a rather inspiring presentation on the topic of “The State of Community Management 2010“. And now we have got both the presentation materials as well as the recording of the event readily available to share it with you all.

That’s right, both Rachel and Jim have been kind enough to allow us to share with you folks out there both the presentation materials that she used, which are slightly different than the ones she has got available over at her Slideshare space under the same title, as well as the audio and video recording of the session. And I am thinking that after that introduction shared above, I better speed up, go ahead and share with you folks the details of where you could go and download the materials, so you can dive into them right away!

Thus without much further ado, here you have got them:

If you would want to get a little bit of  teaser of the kind of materials that both Rachel and Jim presented to us, you may want to have a look into the Slideshare link I shared above, which I am also going to embed below:

As you may have noticed already, the presentation was all about the Community Roundtable Maturity Model covering the following areas: Strategy, Leadership, Culture, Community Management, Content & Programming, Policies & Governance, Metrics & Measurement and Tools, sharing a bunch of good practices on successful community facilitation for each and everyone of those characteristics. Like I said, whether you are new to facilitating online communities or whether you are a seasoned community facilitator yourself, or whether you are just interested in online communities in general, I can guarantee you there will be something out there for you that you would learn by the end of the presentation itself. I am sure.

If you have a little bit over one hour you could spare here and there and would want learn more about how online communities are *the* major drivers of adoption for social software within the enterprise, amongst several other things, I can certainly encourage you all to download the materials and dive right in! You will enjoy them!

From here onwards, I just want to take this opportunity to share across a special thanks!! with both Rachel and Jim, for spending some time with us, CommunityBuilders, and for sharing plenty of those great insights and good practices on what it is like being a successful community facilitator. Thanks ever so much, folks! We had a blast and I surely hope to have you guys as our guests in the near future once again!

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