The promise of social communities on legacy media websites seemed bright at first. Ideally, communities on media websites inform journalists, have reasoned debate on issues, and add to the value of content on media websites. Or at least that's what was supposed to happen. Most legacy media companies have comments and communities, and many are let's just say less than accommodating to reasoned debate. We all know what I mean by that. How did this happen? Is it fixable? Should it be fixed? What are others doing to combat these problems? How does this conflict with first amendment values? On the other hand, many website communities exist without these problems. How did they manage to come into being? How do they stay civil? How do they continue to actually live up to the promise of informing journalism, having reasoned debate, and adding to content value? This panel will explore methods sites use to deal with nutjobs as well as how to encourage and reward productive members in the community.
"Use the internet to get off the internet!" says Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup. Today's tools are giving people more and more ways to connect offline and form communities around shared interests and needs. In this talk, we'll discuss how to use that power to foster world-changing effects. The process starts small, with only you. Then you find a conspirator. Then you develop a core group. Then the group grows. At each step along the way, you refine the culture and build something that everyone is a part of. This is going to be a highly discussion-oriented and participatory session, inviting attendees to share their stories and discuss lessons learned. Let's build amazing communities together!
by Thomas Knoll
The word "community" is becoming so overused that it is beginning to lose its meaning. Many businesses apply that word to their customers without understanding the value of true community.
But you are different. You understand there is a difference between fans and family. Let's get our hands dirty, explore these differences, and discover together how much potential there is in converting our customers from a crowd to a community.
by Matt Haughey
After 11 years of running MetaFilter.com, I (and the other moderators) have been through just about everything, and we've built dozens of custom tools to weed out garbage, spammers, and scammers from the site.
I'll cover how to identify and solve problems including identity, trolling, sockpuppets, and other nefarious community issues, show off custom tools we've developed for MetaFilter, and show you how to incorporate them into your own community sites.
Your lurkers are a vital and necessary part of your community and they often make up a majority of your membership but are dismissed as valueless members of the community. Treating your lurkers as if they have no value could be a fatal mistake in managing your community.
Many community managers discount the value of lurkers when in fact, they are usually the cornerstone of your community. The panelists will help you understand the measurements you need to use to both understand the value of your community lurkers and how to translate that value back to the business. We will also share ideas on how to keep lurkers engaged and coming back to the community and how they can turn from lurkers into contributors.
In this panel, you will learn why your community lurkers are valuable and how to measure their value by understanding how they are contributing to your community, what they are learning from your community, and how they are providing value back to the business.
This will be a moderator-lead discussion with plenty of time for Q&A. Learn from a panel with a combined 32 years of community building and management experience.
11th–15th March 2011