Makers and Managers: The Community Version

I recently caught up with a good friend who also works with the developer community. They spend their days at one of NY’s more mature tech startups, and we discussed how community efforts took shape in the early days, and how they’ve evolved. They spoke of the process of starting off as an individual contributor, […]

Community Interactions: The Most Important Question You Can Ask

Communities and organizations are made of relationships. They consist of the connections we make between one another, and how we either move those connections forward or get in their way. It’s that simple. Relationships which don’t benefit everybody involved don’t last. They may continue for awhile, because one person or group is in need of […]

When to Hire a Community Manager

Recently I’ve had a number of conversations with founders looking for advice on when to bring on a community manager.  People are increasingly hiring for the role, but the question of when (and whether) it fits into the company is often still a mystery. To help everyone figure out what they want and end up […]

Disappointing Users = Disappointing Friends

One of the rules of thumb I use to judge the quality of my work is how much interacting with community members feels like interacting with friends. This is especially evident in how you handle disappointing people. If I have to let my community down (which at some point will be inevitable), it should feel […]

The Importance of Informality

How informal is your team? Do people follow social protocol, or display certain types of etiquette? If so, do all those little things and the extra seconds and thought cycles people spend on them move your company’s mission forward when aggregated?  Informality is one of the most essential ingredients in enabling fluid exchanges of information between people. […]

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

This is Part Four in a Four-Part Series on Observations on Community Building Somehow I’ve reached the 4th post in my experiment. Nice. I’ll end off with some suggestions on where community managers can look in order to get a deeper understanding of our own work. Even though companies hiring people to nurture communities is […]

Community vs. Marketing

This is Part Three in a Four-Part Series on Observations on Community Building What’s the difference between community and marketing? Moving from the all-encompassing view I took in my last post, and back to the more specific realm of web companies, this is a question that me and my peers are asking often as we […]

What Are Communities Made Of?

This is Part Two in a Four-Part Series on Observations on Community Building For the second week of my experiment, I want to share thoughts on something I’ve been working to crack for a long time. What makes a community? For those of us asked to build communities for a living, we really need to […]