[10 July] What are you working on this week?


(Sarah Hawk) #1

It’s school holidays in this part of the world so my life gets a bit crazy with trying to fit work around kids. I imagine lots of you know how that feels!

Last week I wrapped up a few outstanding projects, like the homepage here and my superuser content piece. We’re just nailing down the sponsorship of that and it will launch.

This week I’m working on further documenting processes and ironing out some long standing tech niggles.

What’s on in your world?

(Thomas Mort) #2

That’s funny because school holidays are ending and the kids are back to school this week where I am. I’ve been using reference-theme mattrices for the first time to write a literature review about online communities and linguistic indicators of social organisation in them. It’s going well so far but it’s a bit of a slog. Also, I’m trying to sort out getting the domain name I want for my website which has proven a little tricky.

(Emily Moar) #3

It’s summer holiday here in the US which means the urine content of my lap pool has skyrocketed… :unamused:

My name is Emily, first time poster, part-time reader. I’m working on launching multiple online communities, primarily in tech markets, so I’m here to learn, observe, absorb, and deploy best community practices. Priorities this week are to locate a message board service and start soft launching with some of our biggest fans/customers.

(Sarah Hawk) #4

[quote=“emilymoar, post:3, topic:6359”]
It’s summer holiday here in the US
[/quote]It’s the middle of winter here. I’d almost swap for the urine.

[quote=“emilymoar, post:3, topic:6359”]
I’m working on launching multiple online communities, primarily in tech markets,
[/quote] Sounds interesting. Are you in a consulting role?

Anything we can help with?

(Yum Darling) #5

US here also, but with a very young child, it’s just more of the same (just really hot and humid)

Been working all last quarter on creating a more positive space out of our external community and now I’m writing a plan to take to executives on how to move forward with taking our Community to the next level. It’s not easy because they’ve been burnt in the past, but I’m hoping my metrics and the changes they can already see in the Community will make a difference.

Sometimes I’m banging my head against the wall because it’s frustrating to be a people person working with a bunch of not-so-people-people. This week, so far, has been good. Send all the good vibes.


(Sarah Hawk) #6

Great to hear from you. :slight_smile:

Sounds like a big undertaking. I’d love to hear more. Were there specific issues that you needed to address? I’m wondering if there are things that others can learn from your experience.

(Yum Darling) #7

Oh yes- it’s been huge and it’s ongoing.

Our company created a community as a sort of knowledge base/a place to get product ideas from clients when we were young. It became a vibrant community and was pretty much self sufficient. We would check out the feature request area and throw them a bone once in a while (content wise) but otherwise, things pretty much ran themselves.

We outgrew our community platform and decided to switch. It was handled poorly. At the same time, we moved from a one product company to a two product company- and our feature releases were fewer and further between.

Our community became a place where long-time clients came to complain, and new clients got scared and often felt insecure in their purchase.

Sales and customer success stopped sending people to the Community because they were afraid it would stop them from buying or staying on with us.

In February, they hired me :slight_smile: I came from another community management job (although I didn’t know that what I was doing had a name) and jumped right into fixing this one.

I decided to hold off on recruitment (we only have about 50% of our accounts on the Community, and out of those, most only have 1 person online) until the place was less hostile. I went to work calling and talking to current clients and to my internal team to see where they thought the problems were. I found metrics to track and created SLAs for answering questions and feature requests. I got to know our clients on a personal level and opened up my inbox to them- I wanted all the feedback I could get.

Meanwhile, I worked to identify internal stakeholders (this was much harder than I thought it would be- because the Community is cross-functional, everyone wants their fingers in it- at the end, I figured out that, really, the clients are the main point of the Community and instead of asking “how would you like to be involved” or “how were you involved in the past” or the worst one “what would you like to see the Community doing”, I started asking “what problems can you solve for our clients VIA the Community.”) I can now separate sections into domains, if you will, Customer Success has one area, Implementation has another, Support is mostly in one area, Sales usually only goes to one place, Product deals with product stuff. That’s that.

I don’t know what I would tell someone if they were in the same spot as me, other than- remember who you are working for. And stand up for yourself- Community managers may be nice, but we aren’t doormats.

I think that’s it- if anyone has a specific question or wants more details, I’ll be happy to share.

(Sarah Hawk) #8

Wow – good on you. Sounds like you’re really nailing it.

Do you have metrics to support the work that you’re doing? That might be important down the line if stakeholders are proving a tough one to crack.

(Yum Darling) #9

I have some metrics that they asked for (engagement metrics, mainly, as well as some recruitment metrics- I found a list here with some that I added). I’m struggling to figure out how to show ROI.

Another thing that’s on my radar that I can’t quite pin down is triggers on when to move to the next “level”. Our products will have two separate communities, and one doesn’t have one yet- figuring out at what point to create one (they don’t want to do it before we have enough clients implemented on the software) is a real headache.

Also, I’m diving into sentiment analysis- still figuring that one out.

(Sarah Hawk) #10

Have you seen this?: https://www.feverbee.com/roi/

Can you explain what you mean by next level? You mean when to split the current community out into seperate ones for each product? Do you need to do that, or could you have one community with different categories?

What platform are you using?

(Yum Darling) #11

I have not seen the ROI thing!! Thanks for that.

We decided we wanted to separate communities for our products, they’re for different audiences and it would be confusing to have them all in one place. For our mid market product, I created phases so that management can see where we are… the first one was “housekeeping” then it goes crawl, walk, run- it’s basically a maturity model. That one is easier to figure out.

The Enterprise product doesn’t have many clients implemented yet so they don’t want to have a community yet (I couldn’t get them to invest in one before the product has some stability- I get it, it’s fine, BUT I also can’t get them to help me pin down a time when we say “hey, now we need a community.” Part of it is in numbers- once we have, say 5 clients implemented with potentially 50 users, then we need a place for them- but what other triggers are there? Maybe we need a place for documentation, maybe we need a better way for people to ask for help, maybe our clients are demanding a community-like thing… Those are all great- but if we get to that point and we don’t have a Community in our back pocket, it’s not a great experience for our clients.

Our mid market community is on Jive- our Enterprise Community may be on Jive or might be on SFDC Community Cloud (our enterprise software sits on top of Service Cloud and we have a pretty comfy partnership with SalesForce, so that might be happening, I don’t know) Of course, both of these have incredibly different implementation times- Community Cloud can be up in a couple of weeks, Jive takes longer.

So yeah- that’s my life right now :slight_smile:

(Sarah Hawk) #12

I imagine it will be when support costs reach a point where community will be a more economically viable option. That one should be fairly easy to prove.

And wow – you have a lot on your plate. Great to have you on board.

(Yum Darling) #13

Thanks for having me :slight_smile:

I’m glad I found a place to fit in.

(Emily Moar) #14

Right now my efforts are focusing on consolidating the fragmented pieces of support that exist (FAQ page here, some support emails there, a few comments from an external message board) and shape it up into content for our soon-to-be-launched message board. Any tips or suggestions on how to best do that? I’ve been toying around with the idea of making fake posts with real responses, and transferring the information that way, but I’m not sure if that’s the best way to flesh out the content of the message board before we launch.

(Sarah Hawk) #15

So to clarify, you’re launching a support forum for products and you need to populate them with content that is currently all over the place? What platform are you using?

Rather than making fake posts (authenticity is pretty important) could you create an admin or system account from which they are posted?

(Emily Moar) #16

Yes, great way of summarizing the situation. The admin or system account route is what we’re considering, but I’m not sure if that format is better than gathering all the relevant information onto single topic one-pagers and sticky-ing those in each of their respective topics.

We’re about to start beta testing with the NodeBB platform, which I’ve seen mentioned around here a few times.

(Sarah Hawk) #17

It depends on whether you want discussion to take place on each one. If you do, then I’d go the individual post route. If you don’t (i.e. you want them to function like FAQs and have people start new topics if they have questions) they I’d compile into one big post and close it to responses. If the search functionality is as good with Node as it is with Discourse (which is this platform and is very similar) then either will work fine.

(Richard Millington) #18

Bit late to this one, sorry.

I’m working in Israel this work at various meetings and speaking at a few events.

If anyone here is in the area, please join us!