Feedback on an examples project


(Richard Millington) #1

Hey everyone,

For a llooonngggg time now we’ve been working on a project to make it easier to search through thousands of branded communities to find great examples. We’re slowly developing the project here:

But we’re looking for some feedback. The goal is to make it really easy to find the best communities by platform, sector, and a few other criteria.

We’re still doing some work on the design, but I’d love to get your thoughts on what you like/don’t like about it. We’ve only loaded in the Lithium communities at this point.

Let me know.

(Kristen Gastaldo) #2

Love the idea of this. As someone who is back in the platform-shopping phase, I always want to look at examples of how others are using the platform.

I don’t love the star rating. Is the idea that other community professionals come in and give their opinion on your design? I would personally like that feedback, but would want it as feedback - not as a rating. Or is this designed so that people submit their community to this list and you only display those with top ratings? Then I suppose people would have to vote …

To take it one step further, it might be nice to have some optional filters. So if you wanted to see a community who focused heavily on offline events, ideation, live chats, etc., you could filter those as well. I see some of that in the description/tags.

Can I advocate for adding “open source software” or “open source technology” as a filter?

(Sarah Hawk) #3

Hey Rich, this is looking great!

I’m curious as to how you’ll keep it updated. I see ~5 on that list that are currently migrating to Discourse.

I also think that the ‘type’ options may be confusing for many people.

Not a huge fan of the Vanilla/Discourse grouping :wink:

(Richard Millington) #4

This is a good idea, but it would be almost impossible to execute. We would have to go through every single community, one record at a time, and manually tag each of them etc…

Possible, but unfortunately just too much time. Sorry!

This might work. How many open source platforms are there you would like to search for. My mind has gone blank and I’m only thinking of Discourse at the moment.

I’m planning on doing it either annually or bi-annually. Not too keen to share the details on this one, but you know how we compiled the original so you can probably guess :slight_smile:

People can also submit changes too.

The ‘type’ is being a pain with the plugin we’re using, I’m wondering whether people really care about B2B or B2C. I’m tempted to remove it. Comes up in a few prospective client calls though.

Yeah, I need a solution to this one. Needs to be a row of 4…so either need to remove one or add 2 (+1 row for misc). Might lean towards the latter…

(Richard Millington) #5

I wanted some way of knowing which communities were good / bad - and feedback from other community professionals seemed like an interesting way to do that. Not sure if it will work in practice, but I felt like everyone wanted great examples and I didn’t feel that we (or I) should be the only person to have an input in that.

Very open to other ideas though of rating/ranking. My original plan was to scrape levels of activity. Just wasn’t accurate enough to be valid.

(Robert McIntosh) #6

I like the idea in principle. There is a reasonable amount out there about the platforms themselves, but it is sometimes hard to find good examples of them in the wild, plus examples where more creative communities are pushing the boundaries and doing something interesting and ‘best practice’.

Ideally there should be a quality filter before adding anything to a list like this, but that will take resources, I do understand.

I too am not sure about generic 5 :star: ratings.

Since most community managers would love to have their own site featured here, what about making it a collaborative exchange of value? What if you could submit your community for review (a simplified version of your ‘community breakdown’ posts), but in exchange you (the CM / member) had to review other submitted communities before your own gets published? I’ve seen this done in photography review sites for example.

It might take a while to get established, but the value would be much greater for everyone involved - even the CM gets feedback as well as publicity in exchange for their time reviewing fellow communities.

You might even require participants to come back and update / refresh past reviews in future in exchange for keeping their own site listing live.

Just a thought

(Richard Millington) #7

This is an interesting idea. Not sure if we’re able to implement it, but it might work. The challenge is making it easy to quickly rate / give feedback on a community that is meaningful without spending much time on it. Not sure how to tackle that yet. Open to ideas here.

(Kristen Gastaldo) #8

I would at least have people submit their communities for possible listing. Then you wouldn’t have to do all the research yourself about what they offer, ie ideation, events, etc. You could have a submission sheet that added other relevant info, like size maybe.

I don’t think you’d have to have feedback or ratings, honestly. Of course we want to see the “best” communities - but I would also just want to see examples of what people have done with the platform. I would be looking at functionality, rather than best practices, really.

(Kristen Gastaldo) #9

I didn’t mean an open source community platform. I was thinking more about a community for open source software. But that’s probably more granular than most people care about.

(Kristen Gastaldo) #10

I personally don’t care about B2B versus B2C.

(Piper_Wilson) #11


(Richard Millington) #12

Actually, just thinking about this, it makes way more sense to combine Lithium and Jive since the acquisition.

(Adrian Speyer) #13

it makes way more sense to combine Lithium and Jive since the acquisition.

Now that’s a combo I can get behind.

Like @HAWK I also noticed a lot or companies have left Lithium for our platform or others. Maybe you can look at BuiltWith data for changes ( or ?

I am also surprised b2 and b2c choice doesn’t matter to people here - I guess Sector should be enough (fyi you have Lifestyle twice in the drop down).

(Richard Millington) #14

It does seem combining Vanilla and Discourse is a very unpopular idea with both Vanilla and Discourse :slight_smile:

@Adrian <- can you email me a list of 10 to 15 communities you want featured in this?

The data we have is about 4 months old I think. So definitely does need some work. At this stage, I’m going to try and get it up and then accept edits from members.

I’m not sure what to do about B2B and B2C yet. I thought it would be a bigger deal.

(Adrian Speyer) #15

I’ll email you something shortly :slight_smile:

(Richard Millington) #16

Just considering an idea here, would it make sense to let the vendors decide and manage which 10 communities to showcase on the front page?

I can’t see any obvious way it could be abused, what do you think @Adrian @HAWK?

But I guess it would come down to time?

(Richard Millington) #17

Aside, would love the expertise of the @ALLIES group here.

It could be a great showcase of indispensable communities and compliment the book well.

(Robert McIntosh) #18

Might be good, but then you might end up with the same communities they promote on their own product pages, so you minimise the variety and value of this ‘independent’ resource.

It also might raise the possibility of them not wanting to promote those who have done something interesting and out-of-the-box but that the vendors may not want to promote for some reason (e.g. it emphasises something missing from their standard offer)

A simpler option would be to allow CMs to post their own communities (and take care of completing the details of the site) but then instead of giving all users a chance to rate communities out of 5 stars - since this is relatively arbitrary - make it a simple:

I would / would not recommend this site or implementation

Then the default results of your engine would be to show the top 10 recommended communities by platform, but also include a “Show More” option

(Adrian Speyer) #19

So I see what @thirstforwine issues may be, but I think if vendors would want to submit a list, for review, I think that’s fair.

Not all the sites I sent are on our showcase, because we have limited space, and the use case is different here.

I also think having CMs nominate their own may make the list a bit skewed and you may miss out on some really great communities from being in your list.

Truthfully, I am open to whatever is decided and will support as much as can.

(Robert McIntosh) #20

indeed - I didn’t mean to suggest that vendors would be biasing this, only that if this was limited to a Top 10, chances are they would be very similar to any list on the existing sales pages.

I also don’t think this should be exclusively self-nominated as it would bias only to users of this site. The full list could be compiled from many sources: research, vendors, members, etc. I just think that encouraging members to submit their own sites gets around the issue of completing more detailed forms about each community and giving Feverbee the contact details for gathering updates on a regular basis.