Your Input Needed - What Would You Like This Community To Become?

As a general observation, however helpful, I really enjoy people posting specific problems they are having and how the Experts are able to advise from experience or collaboration. Much as @Travis says.

I think the rest of the site does an admirable job of providing resources and so forth so perhaps that’s not so needed here.

Functionality wise, I also agree with the point @fernando_schneider says about community navigation. I like Discourse in general, but the way the sections are structured aren’t always easy to move between. A community “home” button or option is something I look for but never seem to find so kind of have to navigate backwards through other menus. This might just be me though :slight_smile:

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hi @richard_millington you know where I’d be coming from, so I will keep my answer to what I like about this community with my CM hat on:

  1. There are lots of places I can go for community management support, but I find the members here are more curated. Actually I am not sure “curated” is the right word, but the members here don’t seem to be drive by posters. They seem to be seeking out advice on the tough questions which I appreciate. There is are less duplicate questions too, then in other spaces. I also find the answers and the discussions are much more extensive than in other spaces, but that just might be my impression.

  2. The platform is ok - I won’t comment further, as you know my preference :stuck_out_tongue:

  3. The hardest part for me is to ensure I remember to come. Sometimes I get busy so there are pockets of time when I forget. If you were to share the interesting discussions on the other channels (like Twitter) it might remind me. I do appreciate the digest as a nudge, but it’s not as relevant as it could be.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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Thanks everyone, please keep the answers coming.

@Darren_Gough and @Travis - if you click on the feverbee logo it should take you back to the Discourse homepage. But I might see about changing the menu navigation.

I’m not likely to be changing the platform soon. We’re pretty much setup here with Discourse.

I am interested in being clearer about the community concept. The biggest win from my side is getting feedback on our projects, the book, etc…which lends itself to many different types of communities.

My thinking is with CMX and roundtable groups on Facebook, do we add enough value here with the we’re a community for deeper, more detailed, discussion.

I tend to find many people post the same question here and in other places with often quite similar responses. So I’m keen to make sure we are staking out a decent ground that adds unique value to the sector here.

Keep the feedback coming, it’s really useful.

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Is it cool if we also ask you questions @richard_millington ? :smiley:

What kind of community would you like to develop here? Not sure if you’re considering shuttering this area, but do you think it’s possible to sell community building services without having one of your own?

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Yes, feel totally free to ask any questions you like.

Shuttering the community isn’t really an option I’m considering. If activity were to fall flat, I might do it. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I don’t think the community has a big impact upon selling services. We were selling services long before the community and most of our clients don’t participate here before hiring us. The case studies, content, and referrals drive most of that which has been going extremely well (we’re booked solid at the moment). I can only think of 2 to 3 clients we’ve gained through which the community clearly played a part in the process.

The community is VERY useful though for testing ideas, getting feedback on what we’re doing, and staying close to the pulse of what people are struggling with. That said, I do feel a lot of the conversations have moved to Facebook groups now which has in-built mechanisms to nudge people to come back and participate.

So we can keep things going as they are, with a few small tweaks, but I’d rather set a bold new course for it even if it means losing some members to pursue a direction which adds value to the space. I think with the new book coming out, it’s a good time to make that decision.

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Before going into Richard’s suggestions, I’d say that I keep coming back here because there is a small but healthy group that I can share with and in return get resources from on a broad, broad variety of topics. Something more narrow is probably unlikely to hit my (diverse) needs very much.

(And I like Discourse, FWIW.)

As you know, sustained co-creation of such materials is insanely hard. The wiki model is the only one I’ve seen work regularly, and even that fails 90% of the time.

Might still be worth trying? But a long shot.

Seems like this might be a nice addition to the main, public discussion. Certainly in my other responsibilities this sort of discussion forum has proven useful.

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Interesting point. We’re in a lot of the same FB groups but oddly enough I find them much harder to learn from or participate in for CM type stuff. It’s either one person pretty much flooding the page with updates, or things moving so fast you lose the will to want to track back.

I don’t think they are always conducive to that deeper level of value being discussed. What I would like to see more of here is stories and features about what people are doing. Spotlights on interesting and unusual communities and CMs on their journeys.

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I came here a lot when starting my largest community - not to ask practical questions (which I could do with CMX as their Slack and Facebook channels were easy for this) but to think … it wasn’t to answer a question I had, but to learn about important questions I had not asked yet.

can’t comment, for obvious reasons :slight_smile:

I do admit (being honest) that it has been noticeable that a dedicated and available CM is not around to keep conversations going, to build rapport and so on. I understand the reasons, but it just shows that communities need managers of some sort (in the same way that gardens will keep growing, but get unkempt if they only get the occasional weeding).

It is not just the content focus, but the ongoing personal touches that will build the value of this place

As for your possibilities:

Interesting, but quite technical and risks not being relevant to a broad enough audience quickly enough to build / keep community rather than being a reference site. How many members will really have the expertise AND time to get involved? It might get a bit niche

Maybe good but sounds more like a blog - listening to experts talk to each other is not a ‘community’ - or a private group. However, if you wanted to offer that service to that specific audience I would understand the value, but it would have excluded me and many others here so we would not be around to see it.

Not sure. I have worked on a number of communities and internal support was never the issue for me (I mainly skip this content). It was about doing a better job for users and helping others do the same.

What I like is coming here to hang out with a self-selecting list of more experienced and serious community managers to exchange ideas, and to be challenged by your great posts. One thing that might help is to write these more specifically in order to elicit a response from regulars here to co-create value … they tend to be more complete “blog posts” and I’m often surprised they get few comments, but then I’m not sure what to say other than “interesting thought, thanks”

… there, may be a bit rambling but hope it helps

Keep up the great work

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Nice thread and interesting question. I love this community, but I do find that I can go a long time where nothing is relevant to me either from a reading perspective or feeling like I can contribute.

But I also think that this is exactly what I need it to be. I know exactly where I can come to post questions about community and to get advice/feedback from other community professionals, so even though I am more of a lurker these days, I do regularly stop by and it’s comforting to know that there is an extremely powerful and knowledgeable resource at my fingertips.

As a side note, I do find that most of my time is spent interacting via social media these days as it’s the quickest, most direct way to address concerns from our community. People in general seem to have little patience and demand answers almost immediately to their concerns.

I think that’s definitely a key point. I have a blog post on that scheduled next week. I also see a lot of the questions posted here also posted on the other FB groups too. Which is a concern - i.e. do we offer enough distinctive value compared to other answers. I’m not alway sure we do.

This is a REALLY interesting point. I like the idea of focusing on the unknown unknowns. Not sure you can build a concept around it, but it could be interesting.

I actually just asked my colleague to stop posting the blog posts in here because they didn’t seem to be getting much of a response. It felt like I wa spamming my own community :slight_smile:

I’m interested in collaborating on mutual projects though. We’ve got five big content pieces now that need regular insights and update:

  1. www.feverbee.com/strategy
  2. www.feverbee.com/communities
  3. www.feverbee.com/superusers
  4. www.feverbee.com/communityplatforms
  5. www.feverbee.com/roi

We have a few more in the works too. So there is potential there.

That’s my biggest concern too. It’s also hard (to refer to your later point) to sell the community as a ‘less chaotic’ place to get responses to questions :slight_smile:

  1. I come here to see what other community managers are discussing, if there’s a topic that looks interesting to me. I rarely ask questions, because my community is so different in structure (not being discussion-focused), such that I don’t expect other members to have experiences that apply to it. So maybe I am not within the target group for this community.

  2. I usually come from a link in the summary email, and then perhaps peruse other topics if I have time. I don’t pay much attention to the structure.

  3. I prefer this standalone community to a Facebook one. Though I have a FB profile just for “work”, I prefer not to go down that rabbit hole during work time.

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Just to echo my previous point, this is actually the thing I’d love to learn more about - people working in communities that are unusual or structured differently and having unique journeys.

I definitely like stand alone forums, in general, to Facebook ones. I just can’t seem to get comfortable with Facebook.

As far as this community goes, I don’t want it to get so evolved (?) that inexperienced people like me can’t tread water. I’ve been a member for years, but I still feel new.

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Hey folks,

Thanks for all the feedback so far. Here is what I’m thinking and let me know if you agree or disagree.

It sounds like people don’t want more engagement or more members here, but they like having good quality problems to see and respond to.

So my thinking at the moment is to push the quality of posts (especially new posts) up. This would mean ensuring people provide some context, are specific in what they need, and filtering out the posts that don’t meed a good standard.

Or, to be short, less engagement overall but more good-quality engagement.

What does everyone think?

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Sounds like a plan. Maybe you should rebrand the community as a “think tank” :slight_smile:

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I get what you’re trying to do - I think it would be useful to understand more about what “good” looks like, so to speak. i.e. the “filtering out posts that don’t meet a good standard”. Whose standard is that?

If I arrive having read a blog post and want to ask a question, would I worry my question wasn’t high level enough and leave?

I’m playing devil’s advocate here, and in fairness it is called “experts” but understanding a bit more about the type of problems we want to solve might be a good next step?

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I like two of them.

I like this one because I can get a good idea on what others are doing from a community standpoint. This helps with understanding engagement strategy, look and feel of the community and lots of other “website / professional” types of things that happen within a community.

This is probably the one I like the most. Today, I work at a company that has 27k employees and have done things a certain way for 60+ years, which doesn’t include digital. Getting support and getting internal people from top down to understand digital / community, is not easy. This is a number one thing that should happen. Without the support, you will have a hard time getting buy-in. Having more education and tools around this area would be extremely helpful.

Wonderful reply and development of ideas :slight_smile: Very well written also!

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I’m late to the ball on this so i’ll be brief-(ish)!

Why do I come here? I trust the people that also come here and that run it. It’s a great place to bounce ideas, network with other Community Professionals and as @thirstforwine said - sometimes find out things that you didn’t realise you didn’t know. As one of my own community members put it in a recent spotlight - “finding questions I didn’t know I had”

Where next? I like the idea of most of your suggestions @richard_millington - I think elements of them all could useful in some format (not all lend themselves immediately to a discussion/forum type approach. But there’s certainly lots to gain from them all.

I wouldn’t say this. I’m not sure anyone here would say they don’t want more engagement, sometimes possibly quite the opposite. As @Mjbill said, at times there are just no conversations that I feel I can add value to or get value from.

I also agree with @Darren_Gough about facebook groups - I don’t really participate much in them, or get much value from them as I feel it needs more time investment due to the nature of how quickly they often move. I suspect people post the same question in multiple places not because this community doesn’t have enough distinct value but because they are simply spreading their bets, pooling as wide a pool of potential knowledge as possible. Obviously there are different people in all groups as well as the mutual members.

I’m not sure I’ve really added much in my thoughts of where to go except to say that I quite like how things are here - sure I’m absent quite a bit at the minute for one reason or another, but when I come back it’s great to just pick up where I left off and jump right back in, the people, places etc. I do agree though with whoever mentioned the lack of a dedicated CM here as being fairly clearly felt - it was noticeable when @Hawk left and your priorities were elsewhere (for obvious reasons - not a criticism!)

I also wonder how niche is too niche.
By nature of our job roles we all work in a fairly niche space, pushing it too far could potentially be detrimental.

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Yes! Especially because I feel so new in the subject, most times I’m hoping for an expert to jump in and develop to discussion.

This happens so often and it just feels great. Find a topic with a relatable subject and read inputs that bring you questions you didn’t know you had.

So as @Nick_Emmett said, I’m also not sure I can add much in terms of where to go or what to become, but I enjoy how things are.

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