So, what are you working on?

(Sarah Hawk) #104

Discourse (this forum part of our site) is actually open-source, which means that you can host if yourself if you have the know how (or go with a very cheap plan if you’re happy with out-of-the-box). The 50k was for all our integration and platform development.

(Dan Oneufer) #105

Thank you for the warm welcome. I’m not really working on anything as much as towards something. I have been searching for a community to satisfy my interests in a certain area and I am not finding a lot of meaningful interaction. That either means this is an area in which there is little interest or an area in which there is a lack of understanding in what a community can provide.

Being a terrible optimist, I’m assuming the latter.

I hope to learn from others to determine if I can build up something that will provide value to others sharing my interest.

(Sarah Hawk) #106

That’s brilliant @danoneufer – people tend to jump in and launch communities without doing any due diligence, so your approach is refreshing. Do you have relationships with enough people that share your interest, in order to research them (with a view to them becoming founding members)?

(Angelo Luciani) #107

Hi everyone, I am really excited to be part of this community. I believe when folks with shared interested get together to solve, communicate and share - big things can happen.

I currently run social media and communities for a technology company, and our online community can get stale at times (questions posted but no comments, solutions returned), I am working on improving interaction among members (trying to keep everyone engaged), also trying to drive traffic back to the site, leveraging our blogs.

Hoping to learn from many of the people on this site, and give back as well.

Thanks everyone!

(Sarah Hawk) #108

Welcome on board @aluciani :smile:

[quote=“aluciani, post:107, topic:1328”]
I am working on improving interaction among members (trying to keep everyone engaged)
[/quote] Are there any particular strategies that you’re using? Is it a product support community or a community of practice?

(Angelo Luciani) #109


At the moment, I notice that our forum can get stale with just over 10K users registered, I thought we would get more daily activity (posts, comments, kudos) but it’s just not working that way. I also noticed we have a hidden forum that gets a lot of activity - strange?

I would say our’s is a community of practice (at least thats what I like to think) vs a product support community. One of the challenges I’ve noticed is that system engineers reply to post more often that other community members (not my preference).

(Sarah Hawk) #110

@richard_millington’s last post might be useful to you: Diagnosing a decline in participation

(Angelo Luciani) #111

Yeah, saw that post, insightful for sure.

(Terri Peluso) #112

Hello! I’m Terri Peluso - I work at NetApp, Inc and I own our externally facing community (

We moved froom Jive to Lithium platform in Sept 2014 and have been in a state of rebuild/reinvention. Our next effort is a re-brand (including a universal navigation system shared by multiple netapp web properties).

Thanks! I look forward to being part of the FeverBee conversations.

(Sarah Hawk) #113

It’s great to hear from you @Terri

Did you notice much of a change in engagement when you migrated your platform?
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

(Todd Nilson) #114

Hi @OneYearNoBeer! Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been catching up this week. What are your specific questions about BuddyPress? Happy to take it off the forum if you are more comfortable doing so. I can be reached via Skype easily enough. Let me know your preference.

(Ruari Fairbairns) #115

Great will get in touch with you directly @Todd_Nilson

(Dan Oneufer) #116

I clearly have a LOT to learn. Your question hints to me that I should seeking and developing relationships. I’d like to say that I’ll consider that my first step, but I have a feeling there are other steps that I should take even before that. I’ve decided I’m going to dive in and try to digest the fundamentals before I do anything else.

Thank you for the thoughts.

(Sarah Hawk) #117

Relationships are hugely important. Do some reading up about founding members.

This article (about founding members) is quite old but still relevant, and this one about how we analyse audiences is a good follow on from it.

Happy to answer any questions. :smile:

(Kim Dawson) #118

Hello everyone! I’m at the very beginning stages of my project. I have a feeling I could get many answers to my questions by reading through the 114 post replies, which I will do, but for now, here’s my intro…

I’m looking to build a community, I have all the ideas (OK, some/most of them), a strategic plan of how I want to set it up, what my niche is, who my target market is, etc… The area I need help in is with the technical side of things. I need to find the right platform, and someone (or some people) to code it/create it. I’m not sure about how anyone else thinks, but I think this is much tougher than it sounds.

Sure there are tons of people who claim to create websites, and 1000’s of freelancers in places like Upwork. But how do you really know 1. Who is any good? 2. Who can create exactly what you want? 3. The price differences between the various options offered? It’s as if there are so many options, you don’t know where to start!

How do you differentiate? Where have you found luck finding people to create your site? I’ve always done my own sites, and they come out pretty good, I think, but this project is too big for me to take on. Is it better to buy a platform already created (like vBulletin) and hire a coder to customize it? I see most people use Wordpress, so is it as simple as finding a WP coder and hiring them? Do most WP users use BuddyPress? Has anyone worked with a developer they would recommend?

Phew! Lot’s of rambling thoughts. Any advice is appreciated.

Planning and developing a community platform
(Alan Tabor) #119


re: SlingFin - mostly community of interest managed through a variety of social media not with a specific site or forum. (And, re: “A platform refactor? Any specific challenges?” - yeah, tons!)

Meanwhile, I wanted to loop back and see about Richard’s slides from the conference. I’d love to go through them with the folks at SlingFin.

The following week I was at Eric Ries Lean Startup Conference. One of the very best presentations there dovetailed with Richard’s talk but from a perspective of product development and game design. I thought you all might find it pretty interesting:

(Sarah Hawk) #120

Ah, I see. And you want to bring it all together in one place? If you want help with any of the challenges you mention, feel free to give us some details.

I’m just waiting for the slides to be made public on Slideshare and then I’ll post the link. Shouldn’t be long now.

(Todd Nilson) #121

Hi Kim, here are a few thoughts about your questions…

Get them to show examples of their work. Have them explain what they did for other customers at some level of detail to make sure they can articulate what they are doing to your satisfaction. If you’ve got a developer who you do trust to do the work and who simply doesn’t have the time, maybe have them on a call to ask more technical questions. Finally, be sure to review example sites and ask for references.

I would also say that there’s a great difference between website designers and community designers. It’s a very different orientation toward interactivity, usability and content, in my experience.

Depending on the platform you choose, that will inform whether you are best using an in-house resource, a contractor, the platform vendor’s professional services, or a vender implementation partner. If you go with an open source platform you’ll most likely be looking at an independent or someone in-house. Most of the large enterprise platform vendors have their own professional services group or implementation partners who can help you.

There really are quite a few options, so I sympathize with how overwhelmed you are feeling. From open source platforms through enterprise grade, there is a very wide range of pricing options for you to consider. Start with your business objectives, the target audience you want to reach, and the activities that audience is going to want or need to be able to do there. If you start out just chatting with vendors, you are far less likely to end up in a good place.

If you’d like to talk live about this in order to dig in further, I’m available for a conference call or Skype. Send me a private message and we can set something up.

(Mark Baldwin) #122


Finally got around to joining the Feverbee community. Attended the London event a couple of years ago and hopefully will be attending in Feb 2016. Psychology within communities is something that really fascinates me and in another life I would probably have wanted to work as a psychologist. :slight_smile: I’ve been working as a community manager in the video game industry for the last 5 years, 3 of those in a Freelance capacity. I’ve actually worked in the video game industry for nearly 20 years in a number of roles, but I find this one the most rewarding.

This next year will be very challenging as I currently look after the community for 1 particular video game (albeit a very popular one) but the scope will be expanding as the company plans to launch another 4 or 5 games in 2016. As a lot of people doing community management roles will testify, I also find myself doing other jobs closely linked. So I also do all the customer support emails, which strangely is a nice distraction as it doesn’t take up a lot of my time each day.

However, this will become unsustainable ( is that even a word? ) when I need to manage communities spanning half a dozen different games. I am expecting a certain amount of cross promotion, but the very nature of different games means different communities. In my experience, gamers affiliate with IP and not the actual company that makes the games.

I’m working comfortably within my limits at the moment, but I can force the day coming when I won’t be able to cope by myself. Now, as a freelancer, I am faced with a number of quandaries.

Do I say that I can handle everything, charge appropriately and then look to hire someone myself to help with the work load as and when needed or do I tell the company that they need to hire someone to specifically handle customer support, as the work load for that is bound to increase?

(Sarah Hawk) #123

Welcome @Mjbill - it’s great to hear from you.

[quote=“Mjbill, post:122, topic:1328”]
Do I say that I can handle everything, charge appropriately and then look to hire someone myself to help with the work load as and when needed or do I tell the company that they need to hire someone to specifically handle customer support, as the work load for that is bound to increase?
[/quote] What are the pros and cons of each option?

I would have thought that the latter means that the company carries all the risk.

I’ve found myself in a similar situation before. When things unfolded, I dropped all the ‘extra duties’ (in my case social media, in yours perhaps support tickets) and they were absorbed by other parts of the business, leaving me to focus on community without the requirement for another head.

Perhaps it’s a case of waiting to see how it plays out?