How do you manage your community over the holidays?

This probably depends a lot on whether you work alone, or in a team. Here in NZ, Xmas time is also our summer holiday and people typically take a couple of weeks off to go to the beach. This will be my first summer in many that I haven’t been a freelancer and can take a real break.

I’m interested to hear how you handle time away over the holidays. Does anyone use an agency?

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I tend to just fire any staff that take holidays.


We used to run with a skeleton staff and then rely heavily on our super users to perform the key caretaker / maintenance actions. Then we put clear escalation channels in place with them in case something went into crisis mode.

Lastly, i think letting the community know what’s coming and managing expectation is always worthwhile.

Then you can stick your Santa hat on and pour a mulled wine :gift: :christmas_tree:

Luckily as our members are all customers I’m fairly confident that the vast majority will be off too, and we’re not too big that it would be difficult to manage really. Having said that it’s my Christmas being at the helm so I’m sure I’ll be able to check if I need to. I only have a few days off and we have a good core group of members in there who will likely be around as well. Managing expectations is a good one though, longer times etc might be likely. There’s always a good chance tha… mmmmm mulled wine!!:wine_glass: Cheers! :smile:

This is a very serious community and your jokes aren’t appreciated here. :simple_wink:

[quote=“Darren_Gough, post:3, topic:1746”]
Then you can stick your Santa hat on and pour a mulled wine
[/quote] So British! It’s a bit hot here for mulled wine. We tend to opt for beer.

[quote=“Nick_Emmett, post:4, topic:1746”]
Managing expectations is a good one though, longer times etc might be likely.
[/quote] How would you do this? Email? A banner?

I’ll probably do it with an announcement/sticky note type thing. In Salesforce (our platform) these stick to the side of the forum/group you’re in so should have good visbility, all being well.

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We’re pretty lucky in that our members generally have off the same time we do - but that isn’t a couple weeks, just a couple days.

I typically post an announcement in the community, letting them know we’ll be running a skeleton crew (or no crew) for the days and then give them alternative means to connect with us, should they have some sort of software emergency - as we do have an after hours emergency team.

I also reach out to the super users/champs to let them know I’ll be MIA, but ask them to let me know if they see anything that NEEDS me asap. They don’t call me - but I don’t know many people who ignore their email the entire time off, so they can check in with me if needed!

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I’m the only person working on the community as my main job, but there are other people in my team who have access and can help out if I’m away.

We’ve got a rota for the Christmas period so that there is at least a little bit cover every day - it will just be a quick check in a couple of times a day for anything that needs immediate attention.

I’ve already started doing some engagement work based around the Christmas period, as it’s a difficult time of year for bereaved people. I’ve started a discussion around coping at Christmas, which has had a lot of responses. Right before Christmas, I’ll make sure that discussion is bumped up to the top of the list and post details of some support services that are available over Christmas.

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We also have most of our community members as customers, so the holidays tend to be pretty slow as everyone takes off. I do take some actual joy in helping customers during the holidays, though, so I usually pop in sporadically to make sure everyone is taken care of. I’ve found that if you solve someone’s problem ON Christmas morning, you pretty much have a pal for life, lol.

Our office is technically shut down from Christmas Eve through New Years, though.

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Ha. I love this. I’ll make sure I jump in on Xmas morning just in case any of you have community emergencies. :simple_wink:

I haven’t built a team yet so no break for me these holidays. But fortunately we’ve only recently launched so I’ve got lots of energy and enthusiasm. And I am working with external moderators for the first time to assist on weekends and late at night. This is a big departure for me as I’m used to managing an internal team and being very hands-on with them. Hoping to get my own team sooner rather than later! I do think its really important to take a break from time to time. Too many community managers get burnt out.

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[quote=“JasonHill, post:11, topic:1746”]
And I am working with external moderators for the first time to assist on weekends and late at night.
[/quote] Sounds smart. Are you using an agency for this?

We’re using the Lithium platform so have engaged the Lithium team as a trial. I have also been chatting with Quiip about using their services in future.

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In my practice, Discourse community moderation tools were always enough. Even for 10 days of my absolute absense (100% offline 10 days in a row). During that break, 1 offensive message and a few undesired spammy ads were successfully blocked by community flagging.

Yet I tend not to skip a single day. It’s not that difficult to dedicate 10 mins sometime during a day to head in, even if you’re extremely busy.