Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Online Community

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Friday 11th March 2011

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Community Engagement Strategies: Rational Debate or Herding Cats?

    by Drew Curtis, Tucker Max, Kelly McBride and Erik Martin

    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.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol E-H, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Seed & Feed: How to Cultivate Self-Organizing Communities

    by Tony Bacigalupo and Peter Chislett

    "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!

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Hill Country CD, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • Are Your Customers a Crowd or a Community?

    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.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In TX Ballroom 1, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • Real World Moderation: Lessons from 11 Years of 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.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In TX Ballroom 1, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage video

  • Lurkers: Your Most Important Community Members

    by Jim Storer, Heather Strout, Mark Wallace and Michael Pascucci

    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.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In TX Ballroom 1, Hyatt Regency Austin

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Local Online Communities: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

    by Ann Baldinucci, Joe Stump, Lane Becker and Micki Krimmel

    Americans are increasingly turning to high tech tools to recreate the small town experience. Join us for a discussion with pioneers of local tech to learn about how location-based technologies are connecting people to create the next generation economy and a more engaged citizenry. We’ll cover tools of the trade, best practices and give you tips on how you can infuse place into your project. Finally, we’ll envision what the ideal connected neighborhood might look like in the future.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Salon J, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • What Digital Tribes can Learn from Native Americans

    by Allison Aldridge-Saur, Circe Sturm, Lou Ordorica and Holly Counter Beaver

    Tribalism has become a new buzz concept for social networking, but what is a tribe really? In this panel we will explore what Native Americans know about tribal systems and what holds them together, motivates membership and how to tap into that to support or create lasting tribes. There are 3 fundamental components: leadership, vision and ritual that can be the basis for tribal identification.

    Check out http://www.dgtltribe.com for more info

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In TX Ballroom 5-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage sketch note

  • 27 (Fun!) Ways to Kill Your Online Community

    by Patrick O'Keefe

    In this fun and extremely fast-paced session, you'll learn how to manage an online community backwards. You'll become an expert in the quickest ways to kill your online community, using tips you can take and use today to kill yours as soon as possible! You can even take these skills and work with clients who want to hire you to kill their community, too. Of course, if you want to attend the session to learn from those bad methods and do the opposite, in order to build a successful and well-run online community, you can. But, I'm not sure why you'd want to do that.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage slide deck

  • Agvocacy 2.0: Adding a Human Voice to the Farm

    by Jeff Fowle, Zach Hunnicutt, Emily Zweber, Chris Chinn and Marla Schulman

    You probably don't farm. But you do eat. How do we bridge the communication gap between the 2% of the population who are farmers, and the remaining 98% of people? Technology. The AgChat Foundation is working to end the divide between agricultural producers and the public by training farmers and advocates, developing strategic "agvocacy" campaigns, analyzing data, and funding scholarships. It's all part of helping everyone understand the production of food, fiber, and fuel in its many faces and how technology is changing everything.

    The panel will consist of various leaders from the AgChat community, most of which are family farmers. Discussion will focus on the AgChat community: how it was built; its unusual diversity, including people, groups and ideologies sometimes otherwise not in agreement; how it grew beyond its basis in Twitter to other social media platforms; some typical discussion topics; and how the AgChat Foundation functions to equip farmers and ranchers with the tools to be credible online voices.

    Complete program details can be found at www.agchat.org.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 6AB, Austin Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Dealing With Internet Drama In Feminist Discourse

    by Garland Grey and Rachel McCarthy James

    The Internet is a community of communities, all filled with conflict and drama. Social justice and activism are as filled with these clashes as any other group, but the wounds inflicted can be more than difference of opinion or personality discord: in “safe spaces”, tensions can be particularly fraught

    These incidents can often be instructive and valuable. Conflict clarifies loyalties and solidifies friendships; conflict can reveal humility and pride. Controversy can teach anti-oppression activists about how to avoid unintentionally inflicting harm upon folks who do not share their privileges.

    But while call-outs can be essential to honest discussions of inequality, drama is just as often destructive. Conflict comes at a price, sometimes with little payoff. Internet drama cost emotional energy, physical resources, time, and relationships. Blogwars, 500+ comment threads, and 140-character fights are rarely in anyone’s best interest – they are usually costly to the attacker, the target, and those reading on the sidelines.

    Drama and conflict in online social justice is usually best minimized and carefully managed. This presentation, which will focus more on examination than instruction, is not just about how to check your privilege. It’s about when to call out, and how to avoid abusing others. It’s about how to respond, when to check out, and how to take care of yourself in a community that demands everything of you.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 5ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • Jewish Synergy: Social Media and the New Community

    by Chaviva Galatz

    In the 21st century, religion has found its way to the internet via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, making the ability to discover new avenues of belief, observance, and involvement in entirely new ways. The question is: Why are some more successful than others in embracing and executing this form of digitizing an ages-old religion full of individuals, organizations, associations, events, synagogues, schools and more? How does one convince reluctant groups and individuals to embrace Social Media? And, perhaps most importantly, how can those who hail Social Media develop and grow this new global Jewish community that exists almost exclusively online? This panel will extend efforts made on the Judaism 2.0 panel from 2010, and it will focus on the benefit of Social Media in synergizing the broad Jewish and Israeli communities through the wires and waves of the internet!

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Big Bend, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • The Harassment Predicament: Minimizing Abuse, Maximizing Free Speech

    by delbius

    Online services tread a narrow line between enabling free speech and preventing abuse of members. Offline, harassment is often determined contextually; unfortunately, website owners and operators often lack the time, insight, and ability to determine the context surrounding a given behavior. Additionally, the speech itself may not be directly abusive; thus, identifying other vectors for abuse is becoming increasingly important. As a result, Del Harvey, the Director of Twitter's Trust and Safety department, has spent a significant amount of the past two years working to develop objective litmus tests for evaluating potentially abusive behavior in the absence of context. This presentation will draw upon the work done at Twitter as well as Del's previous background working with online safety advocates to provide practical and doable policies and suggestions for sites to utilize with a minimum of engineering investment and personnel needs.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center