2016 in retrospect


(Sarah Hawk) #1

We’re fast approaching the end of the year and I thought it might be nice to celebrate our achievements and/or successes for the year.

Given that we’re closing down for the week between Christmas and New Year, I thought we’d better do this now.

What happened this year that you are the most proud of?


(Ernesto Izquierdo) #2

I’d say that I’m most proud of having launched two internal communities this year that look promising. We’ve just started but activity is mainly driven by its members.

Then I’d say that I’m glad that our project has been approved, and we should be improving our tools next year to integrate and offer a more user friendly and coherent experience in our platforms.

Nothing wooasome… but it’s still three steps that are getting us closer to a more networked organisation. What are you must proud of Sarah?


(Priscilla McClay) #3

I’m proud of how much my community has grown this year - it only launched in mid-2015 and really took off in 2016. We are now getting about 4 times as many posts as we were this time last year.

These days, I don’t need to step in and participate as much because users are supporting each other. It is a great feeling when you see people really connect and help each other with deeply emotional issues.


(Nick Emmett) #4

I’m most proud of finally getting our community relaunched with a new look and a new back end. Same platform but quite wide ranging changes compared to what we had before - more engaging and much better for me to administer and keep things fresh and engaging without having to wait for weeks for some development resource each time we needed to change the smallest detail! A year+ in the making, 2 missed deadlines and one accidental, early go-live and we’re off and seeing numbers doing pretty well for the time of year. My first real project from a Community Manager’s perspective, I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way that I’m currently trying to make sense of in to a blog post for the new year.

Aside from that there’s the usual managing to keep myself and my family alive is always an awesome feat! :slight_smile:


(Nick Emmett) #5

Great job @Ernesto_Izquierdo and @Priscilla… how about you @HAWK - what are you most proud of?

It’d be great to hear from as many regulars as possible - @Bas_van_Leeuwen, @Mjbill, @dun3buggi3, @Suzi_Nelson, @colleenyoung, @ale_fattorini, @Dave_Charbonneau, @Darren_Gough, @ForumSentinel, @irreverance, @JoeBuhlig, @Kristen_Gastaldo


(Katelyn MacKenzie) #6

I am most proud of seeing how my developer community has grown! It is just a volunteer community, so that has been amazing. Proud of my own personal growth this year with being a self-taught community manager! Finding CMXhub and this community has been a huge part of my growth!

With that I am excited to say that I will still be growing PRPL Academy into a Facebook group now, just on a part time level starting in January. We had it on hold for the last 2 months as we restructured what my role with the company was.

2017 will be an exciting new adventure as I am looking for a new community to manage and call home! It looks like I will either be moving to Boston MA or Dallas TX (unless something remote pops up!)


(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #7

I hate those accidental go-lives;)


(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #8

Two distinct areas come to mind - one external and one internal:

  1. We launched a professional community and people are starting to build relationships and feel comfortable. I have played a direct role in this through messaging behind the scenes. What I find noteworthy is I know the audience enough to encourage participation in specific threads AND the audience trusts me enough with their time and interests to engage based on these recommendations. What a privilege and great responsibility!

2 - I had an internal heart to heart about facilitation; specifically, how I phrase and coach others to phrase questions. I suspect I always needed growth in this area, but a transition to a net new audience emphasized the need for mastery. Realizing you aren’t as strong in an area as you thought you were is a bitter pill to swallow. I am proud I had the backbone and heart to face my own shortcomings and thriller that I have a plan to address it ( I’ve set a goal for weekly question revision/brainstorming practices and facilitation research)


(Sarah Hawk) #9

I am most proud of the fact that at the beginning of 2016 this community was full of interesting people that didn’t talk much.

Now, we have a much stronger sense of community and a culture where new members aren’t afraid to jump straight in.


(Nick Emmett) #10

This sounds great @katelynrae - congrats on getting things moving forwards and I look forward to hearing more of your journey and what comes next for you. It’d be great to hear about where you started from and where you’ve ended up in terms of that growth.


(Nick Emmett) #11

Awesome @Katie_Paffhouse_Buss! How do you manage those relationships and your knowledge of your members individually to enable those backstage convos? There’s a thread here somewhere that I’ll dig out about the different ways people do this. I have a Google sheet I use.


(Nick Emmett) #12

Agreed, and congrats I think it’s been a strong year here for sure! Thanks for all you do :slight_smile:


(Shreyas) #13

This has got to be the best!

Thanks for pulling me in @Nick_Emmett! What am I proud of this year? Let see…
I’m proud of getting our community to 45k members at one point and creating a sense of ownership of our product. The relationships that were built in our community (am I allowed to feel proud about that? :wink:)
I’ve also been able to spend more time with my family and find time for my long lost love for blogging. I’ve decided to write about my learnings, experiences, or random ramblings every week and it’s been great so far. It increases accountability and acts as a journal for the week.
I’m also super proud of moving from being a lurker to signing up and participating here!
2017 is going to be exciting. I’m moving to a new company where I would be working on building tech and developer communities. Also beginning 2017 by speaking at an event about Community Management as a career option. :relaxed:


(Sarah Hawk) #14

Love it. Glad you did – your responses are always really thorough and carefull thought out. :slight_smile:


(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #15

Ah - data management. I have a SOPHISTICATED model (kidding) - it’s a spreadsheet where I track some basic demographic stats. It also has a column for each type of ask I make. I track when I ask and color code based on response.

Additionally,I do a keyword search. We ask each member to list topics they specialize in and, thankfully, most have completed this field and our site crawls it. It allows me to use the "you said you have interest/expertise in this particular area, be sure to check this out)


(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #16

Needless to say, a direct link to the discussion on data management would be greatly appreciated!


(Jay Pfaffman) #17

I quit my job as an instructional technology professor and moved to a new city (with my partner, who has a job in new city). In August or September, I started doing consulting installing Discourse, doing imports from other forums, and supporting people getting started with Discourse. It’s not quite a living, but I’m well on my way.


(Frank Field) #18

Gosh, I’d say I’m most proud of a couple of things: I went from a CM know-nothing to pretty darned adept at using the platform my community is on… And I went from a know-nothing to understanding the value of, and finding a dollar value for, the community I manage… And I’m pretty proud of creating an advocacy group in my community that I think the company wants to leverage for bigger purposes.

When I write it down like that, I feel like that’s a pretty damned good year. So, thanks for asking! I needed that!


(Suzi Nelson) #19

The big one is we added our 10,000th member to one of our customer communities! I’m so lucky I get to hang out with that tribe for a living. What a bunch of lovable weirdos.

I also spoke at my first non-DigitalMarketer conference (CMX West) about our Lurkers Week case study, and I’m scheduled to do several presentations on community at our Traffic & Conversion Summit next year. I’m proud that my employer and community industry leaders think I have a little something to offer to the conversation. It’s weird and awesome.

There were a lot of successful community strategies (among all the unsuccessful ones) including Engage It Forward (where community members can give away free services - it’s now a monthly event), created a glossary, and change our community rules to behavior guidelines.

I wrote two chapters of the Digital Marketing For Dummies book… that was an interesting process. Can’t wait to see it in print, even though the editors removed some beautiful puns.

It’s been a hell of a year, and so fun to read about all of your collective successes! Bring on 2017!!


(Sarah Hawk) #20

Don’t you hate that?

Sounds like you had a great year Suzi. Nice work.