1 2 Previous Next

External Communities

19 posts
Anne Shaneen

Promotion = Sales?

Posted by Anne Shaneen Apr 15, 2014

After a semi psychotic week running a trade-in promotion for HTC's One (M8), we saw a lot of good and bad things and it revealed a lot of holes in the way we choreograph incentive and support our community. Needless to say, I've been slowly emerging from maintenance mode the past week.


In my moderation efforts today, I found this little nugget and did a jig at my computer. I'll let you use your deductive reasoning to find out the jig-worthiness of the post:








And in case you were wondering what I was dancing to in my head, you're welcome:

As I promised in Jive Online Community Management: Stop Reacting. Start Impacting., I wanted to give this group a behind-the-scenes look at how we are managing our own JiveX community.  After writing that blog post, I hit reset internally.  I looked at our data, performed some internal interviews, and quickly realized that we had a more complex program than I had anticipated.  I also realized that because Jivers feel empowered to make improvements and engage, we had some groups operating independently with potential overlapping and conflicting needs. Sound familiar?


So, I sat down with our experts in Professional Services. Together, we developed a different structure for approaching and managing the work (using our own tools and best practices)! For the first time since I joined Jive three years ago, we decided to “practice what we preach.”


First, we revised our program structure:

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.34.50 AM.png


Then, I got buy-in on our goals, metrics and targets for the next 12 months.  At a high-level, they are:

  • Ensure Customer Success
  • Increase Customer Loyalty
  • Maintain Positive Brand Reputation and Reach
  • Engage Prospects and Partners


Next, I began focusing on upgrading the Jive Community to the latest and greatest version of our software, which was completed over the weekend (see  Shining a Light on JiveX 7.).

I also made it a requirement that we begin to get “cloud-ready” and eliminate all non-essential customizations.  Like many of you, I knew it would be hard to say goodbye to items like Managed Snippets; however, if you can’t have it, we shouldn’t have it! Instead, I can serve as JiveX advocate internally and try to influence product direction. 

Here is the list of customizations that I kept:

  • Supportal, which is needed for all of the MyJive groups
  • Marketo Integration, which is key for our marketing automation program
  • Custom SSO


I also worked with Amber Orenstein Max Calderon and our crew of awesome interns to roll-out a new layout on some of our key pages. (FYI: this group has been part of the proposed changes for the last month).


Now, I’m in the process of working with our Strategist Christy Schoon to evaluate how each department at Jive uses or wants to use the external community.  To help, Christy is testing out new Reference Solution Framework.


Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 10.12.18 AM.png


For each area, we are defining the following:

  • Goals and objectives
  • Desired outcomes
  • Use cases and value-derived priorities
  • Links and dependencies between pillars
  • Management and governance model
  • Technical requirements


After the strategy sessions are complete, we will produce a project plan defining the sequence of implementation, schedule, and resources required. 


Finally, I’m working on a new marketing plan for the Jive Community, which I’ll be happy to share with the crew in this discussion: How are you marketing your community?


Would love to hear from you! What do you think of the approach? Is this level of transparency helpful for you? 

Finally, if you have Feedback or see issues report them in the Feedback space.  Thanks!

[SB] In my previous blog article about the inception phase (Community Management Lifecycle [1/4]- Inception Phase or how to get my penguins in the water?), John the Community Manager Penguin literally took advantage of the penguin effect to reach a critical mass of users in his aquatic community. Now it’s important that he adapts his activities to the needs and requirements of the establishment phase, shifting the focus from a micro-oriented approach (directly contacting users, initiating discussions) to a macro-oriented strategy. I will explain in this article why this is important and how he makes the transition.

Penguins in the water

Nearly all communities pass through a community lifecycle that consists of the same phases:

Inception – Establishment – Maturity – Mitosis. This article will deal with the most important aspect in the establishment phase: engaging in macro-level activities.


John’s aquatic community is growing larger and larger. He still maintains his contacts with the penguins by sending messages, starting discussions and writing posts. But he’s slowly realizing that the community is becoming so big that he’s no longer able to contact each member personally. And on closer examination one sees that this isn’t even necessary. The community has reached a size where it should do this on its own. An emerging group of multipliers now perform these tasks for John. Multipliers are those members who identify strongly with the community; they do lots of important things like getting discussions started, helping other members find their way around the site and winning new users.


John quickly recognizes the new situation and rethinks the activities that he had undertaken for the inception phase. He sees that it is now necessary to identify and support the multipliers. After all, they bring in new members and motivate existing ones. After a while, he notices that fish alone is not incentive enough for the multipliers to stay engaged; instead, they prefer to acquire different rights and privileges like being able to start their own multiplier group or ban penguins from the community for misconduct.

John also has to realign his strategy for acquiring new members. He no longer has the time to contact all potential new members personally. In fact, he needs to pinpoint his target group and divide it into subsets of penguins who have similar needs and priorities, while also developing a suitable marketing plan. The main questions he should ask himself are: Who is my target group, and how can I effectively reach them?


In this phase, John begins to organize regular events and activities in order to keep the community attractive to his penguins. He makes sure to plan both one-time and recurring events to provide users with not only a sense of regularity but also with new incentives to stick around. At this point at the latest, John should use gamification techniques to encourage members to engage in the community.


One thing that is extremely important is the community’s content. This should always be up to date and give users new insights into community-related topics. A tried-and-tested approach is creating content directly from the community’s members and activities. There is nothing most members would like more than to read about the community itself. John therefore publishes each week a blog article that introduces interesting penguins in the community. Who doesn’t like reading about himself or his friends? By taking this approach, John is able to create community-based content that prompts other penguins to visit the community, read the blog articles and make efforts to be featured in articles themselves.


He is also putting a lot of thought into the community’s strategy during this phase. He knows that it is necessary to constantly collect and evaluate data. Without such information, he can’t tell how the community is performing and whether it’s in good shape. What’s key here is not only gathering quantitative data like the number of active and inactive penguins, but also collecting qualitative data. One such qualitative metric is the so-called sense of community. This measures to what extent members feel they are integrated into the community and the community understands them, as well as how strongly members think they can influence the community. A healthy community has both: very active users with a strong sense of community. John compares the data on his community with his targets and can make adjustments if things aren’t developing as fast as he had hoped.


If John hadn’t adapted his efforts to the phase his community is currently going through, the aquatic community would have slim chances of achieving sustainable, long-term growth. Large numbers of his penguins would most likely get bored of connecting in the ocean water, because the community wouldn’t be offering anything new and exciting (events, activities, content) and wouldn’t be further developing itself (strategy). But John wouldn’t even notice this, since he wouldn’t be gathering and evaluating community data.


During the establishment phase, John needs to boost the number of members, make existing members want to stay in the community and keep developing the community’s overall features. In short, his tasks include:

  1. Attracting new members and multipliers
  2. Motivating existing members to be active in the community through both special one-time and regularly recurring events and activities
  3. Ensuring members and visitors have an exciting experience through, for example, engaging content
  4. Further developing the community through the insights gained from the collection and evaluation of KPIs
  5. Creating a sense of community among the members


John’s aquatic community will eventually reach a point where only low growth and a modest increase of user activity can be expected; this is called the maturity phase. You’ll learn what community managers like John should do in this phase in my next blog article.


About the author:

John an d I2

Sandra Leupold, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She recently joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot///SMZ, where she leveraged her extensive intranet and community expertise to consult organizations on how to optimize their change management and community management process.


PS: John visited me these days personally. We discussed the latest activities, reviewed KPIs and planned events together. It was an awesome workshop :-)

We can't all know everything. In fact, that's the beauty of forums! When you're on a large team, you don't need to be the expert on everything. But what if you are pretty knowledgeable about one thing in particular? Is there a category or brand that your customers and co-workers know to ask you about before they ask anyone else? You, my friend, will do well here.


Here are 5 tips for establishing yourself as the expert on your favorite subject in the forum.




Experts have a following. You can establish a start a few different ways. The easiest way is to follow your co-workers. That will cue them to follow you back. Also, be sure to add your expertise to the "Skills and Expertise" section of your profile. The words you choose will act as tags for your profile, making you searchable under those terms.

Learn more here: Connecting to Other Users (Jive 7) , Adding Skills and Expertise to Your Profile (Jive 7)



The best way to be recognized in the community is to consistently answer questions that arise in your niche of expertise and answer them correctly. Start by following all of the places that pertain to your expertise and create a special activity stream just for that subject. You can also learn more about relative subjects by adding people that are also experts and/or belong to the corporate team for your area of expertise.

                  Learn more here: Creating a Custom Stream (Jive 7)



Answering questions is great, but giving the right kinds of answers is what will set you apart from the rest. Be sure that your answers are detailed, thorough, cite link sources if necessary, tag relative content when needed, and are … well … correct and helpful. Only one answer per question can be marked correct, but several may be marked as helpful. The more of each you get, the more you're remembered and followed by other users.

Learn more here: Marking Helpful Collaboration and Decisions (Jive 7)



Being marked as THE correct answerer to a question is more likely if you are able to produce the correct answer first. Timeliness is easy when you're plugged in to the community on a regular basis to check your inbox, favorite spaces, and custom streams.



Once you've collected some klout and followers, you'll probably be found on a few activity streams. Now you have an audience , and you must give the people what they want! Unlike documents, a blog post is more of a story, opinion or thought leadership. Good examples of blog posts are as follows:

  • 3 Ways To Make Your Customer Smile
  • A Day in the Life of a CMO
  • Sold Out!: Our Black Friday Story

A great blog will be shared by your readers, exposing your expertise to users across the community and further engraining your expert statu

Learn more here: Creating Blog Posts (Jive 7)


Establishing oneself as an expert is no easy task, and it takes time! If you've had success in any of these or other strategies, comment below and add your two cents on best practices.

Pokeshot///SMZ is pleased to announce the new releases of our Jive add-ons SmarterPath and Translation Manager to leverage your external community. After putting a considerable amount of time and energy into the development of additional features, we are excited to tell you what’s in store for you.



As some of you remember, we launched the social LMS add-on SmarterPath last year and won the “Jive Extend” Award on the strength of this innovative application. The rationale for creating this app was that traditional LMSs, which are completely disconnected from where work is getting done, are not the application of choice for either employees, partners, customers or for trainers. Our SmarterPath solution embeds social learning directly in the Jive user experience. Instructors can leverage content directly from Jive to build their courses. And participants can progress through learning paths while working in Jive, using familiar Jive features to collaborate with peers. Now we have released a more advanced version of SmarterPath with several new features that will boost the impact of social learning in your Jive environment.

We’ve added helpful new functionalities like “Community action: Follow person”, which enables learners to easily connect with subject matter experts, and “Community action: Follow place”, which allows learners to be asked to join a social group within Jive as part of a training. Also new is theexam builder feature that lets trainers easily build exams and quizzes using true/false, multiple choice, multiple response and fill-in-the-blank questions. This powerful tool also generates reports like the answer breakdown report, which will also be available for SCORM-based eLearning trainings.


What’s more, Jive 7 is fully supported, which means SmarterPath is now available as a Jive 7 add-on. The add-on includes the SmarterPath app as well as a purposeful place template for creating training-specific groups. We also simplified training set-up by adding learning elements that don’t have to be linked to a training path and that don’t require you to create an asset first. From now on, leaners can also comment on lessons, start a discussion or just give feedback on the lesson level. Last but not least, you can now generate an activity report to track what’s happening in all your training paths.

You’ll find more information about SmarterPath on our website or on our Pokeshot///SMZ space in the Jive Community:
SmarterPath Social Learning for Jive

Translation Manager

The Translation Manager for Jive is a must-have add-on for customers running Jive in either an internal multinational environment or a customer facing community with global reach. The time and cost saving tools add a host of advanced multilingual capabilities to your Jive environment. This includes simplifying translation and management of the UI text and editing labels and interface elements directly in the frontend. You also have the ability to translate Jive content into the users preferred language automatically and in real time, and you can create multiple language versions of documents and present the correct version to users based on their language settings. For example, if you run Jive in an international organization, you are likely to run into situations where content needs to be provided in different languages. In cases like these, the Translation Manager add-on from Pokeshot///SMZ is just the right tool for you. Find out what new features Translation Manager now offers you.

First of all, the Translation Manager add-on, which includes the i18n, multi-language content and automated translation plugins, is available in Jive 7. In addition, we improved our i18n plugin by implementing the following optimizations and features:

  • The “Go” button has been removed
  • You can now switch to a new language in the form by simply changing the language in the dropdown menu
  • Values for search or pagination will be kept
  • Key settings pop-up
  • Explicit cluster synchronization
  • Date of latest language export and modification
  • Export all languages:
  • Via the extended options there is now the possibility to export the properties files (including the customizations) for all languages (ZIP archive)


You’ll find more information about Translation Manager on our website or on our Pokeshot///SMZ space in the Jive Community:
i18n Translation Manager
Multi-Language Content
Automated Translation

[SB] Today I’d like to describe the factors that are key to reaching a critical mass in newly launched communities. Most community managers follow the lead of older, more established communities and take actions that are more suitable for full-grown social networks. So it is essential that community managers know which phase their community is presently in and implement measures that are specific to the needs of their current audience. This Blog article is not about marketing, promotion actions or defining the right target group. I rather want to write about actions which you as a community manager can do to activate and motivate people to come, stay and engage in the community during this early stage.


Nearly all communities pass through a community lifecycle that consists of the same phases:

Inception – Establishment – Maturity – Mitosis. This post will deal with the most important aspect in the inception phase: reaching a critical mass.


So I will use the same aquatic, flightless birds as a metaphor that Professor John P. Kotter employs in the area of change management: penguins.penguins.png

Imagine a huddle of penguins atop a sheet of ice. It is drifting through the ocean water, which is where there is something penguins are anxious to have: fish. Not only will the penguins catch a lot more fish if they leave the ice, they will also catch them faster. Penguins can move around much better in water than out of it. It is clearly to their advantage to get in the water, but most penguins are unaware of this and try to catch their fish from the ice.


There is one penguin – we’ll call him John – who is in charge of water activities and wants to persuade the penguins to get in the water. We could say John is the Community Manager Penguin. John takes his responsibility very seriously and focuses his efforts on the area in the ocean where all his penguins jumped into the water last week. He has created posters and organized big community events. But he is not getting any more members in the water than before. What is he doing wrong? John’s penguin community is in the inception phase. This means he presently has only a few members in the water. To organize big events, he needs a lot more members than he has at the moment.


John is learning very fast though. He is concentrating more on the specific needs of his community and is thus planning much smaller activities. He is contacting other penguins directly, which improves conversions, and is chatting with members to build personal relationships. His efforts are starting to produce the first results. A small group of new penguins are jumping into the water. They instantly realize the benefits of fishing in the water over fishing from the ice. John’s micro activities are working. More and more penguins are getting in the water and encouraging their friends to do the same. After a short while, skeptical penguins are no longer willing to stay put on the ice because they are missing out on what’s being discussed in the water. John’s community has literally demonstrated the penguin effect.

The penguin community has also reached a critical mass – more than 50% of growth and activities are generated by the community. John can now shift his focus to efforts on the macro level.



If you are trying to establish a new community, start small and heed the following advice:

  • Take actions that correspond to your community’s current phase.

During the inception phase:

  • Invite members to join the community personally
  • Build a group of multipliers that will start discussions and invite new people
  • Show members the benefit of your community
  • Initiate discussions on topics members will be interested in
  • Prompt members to participate in discussions
  • Build relationships with members
  • After reaching a critical mass, start activities for the establishment phase
  • I’ll explain what John can do grow his community in the establishment phase in my next blog post.

About the author:

profile-image-display.pngSandra Leupold, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She recently joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot///SMZ, where she leverages her extensive intranet and community expertise to consult organizations on how to optimize their change management and community management processes.

Share your thoughtson the new.pngAt JiveWorld13, I spoke to many of you about the current experience on the Jive Community and received lots of interesting feedback:

· “The Jive Community should be the showcase”

· “I’m there all the time and still feel lost”

· “The community is your second product”

· “Jive employees need a greater presence”

· “Jive doesn’t ask enough of us”


During these conversations, I realized that we all have a shared passion for not only social business, or Jive, but for THIS community. Therefore, I made a professional New Year’s Resolution to address your feedback.  Armed with the virtual backing of the world’s leading community managers (ie. YOU), I made a bold statement inside of Jive.  I stood in front of executives, colleagues, and my team to highlight one clear point: We are the BEST community platform in the world; however, we don’t run the best online community. 2014 is the year we freakin’ change that!

I asked every Jiver to rally around the mission, “Stop Reacting. Start Impacting.” Like many of you reading this know, it’s easy to get bogged down into doing the day-to-day tasks of a community manager – moderation, content creation, conversations, metrics gathering, etc.  Instead, I wanted Max Calderon and me to focus on the items that would have the biggest impact for the most amount of users. 

In order to accomplish this, I had to go back to basics. In January, I did the following:

  • Maintained focus on strategic direction and platform optimization
  • Formed an executive steering committee and cross-functional working group
  • Defined measurable objectives for the community program
  • Hired great folks like Heather Pamplin and Amber Orenstein in Professional Services to help with the upgrade to Jive 7


I’ve spent the last 30 days cranking hard, initiating internal conversations, generating buy-in, designing a new information architecture with Corey Mathews, etc. Instead of rolling out in true traditional marketing fashion with a big bang, I wanted to first involve you – the external community experts.  I want this to be OUR project.  So, I’m going to be sharing updates, getting ideas from you, and making changes to this group. Based on lessons learned, I’ll be rolling out changes across the community.

Let’s dive in.  As someone who has been managing external communities since 2006, I know the first step is always to define what the heck you want people to do on the page.

Here are my goals for the External Community group overview page:

  1. Balance usefulness with promotion
  2. Balance featured with new members and content
  3. Balance information with ease of use
  4. Appeal to browsers, searchers and people on a mission

To achieve this, I’ve made the first changes in round 1:

1. Renamed the Group.  For the last four years, this group has been called "external community managers."  I've ommited the manager title because I know that there are several people here involved in the group that aren't community managers.  They are decision makers, strategists, end-users, etc. 


2. New Content Highlight Boxes. I’m going to be highlighting three new items on a monthly basis in the top boxes on the overview page.  Each box has a purpose 1) Jive content 2) user-generated content or featured membership activities 3) relevant call-to-action. 


3. New Overview Page Layout. I’m attaching a screenshot of the old version of this group.  I’ve made it much more simple and organized into three columns 1) search and browse 2) highlight content 3) showcase membership.   


4. New Community Lead Program. I’m handing over the keys and letting a community of community managers do what they do best: manage a community! Emilie Kopp will be managing this group in the month of Feb. Obviously, she has a full-time gig, so this will be a part-time effort, which includes welcoming new members, moderating questions and creating content. 


Now, I would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts on the first steps I outlined above. Thanks in advance for your insights and continued participation!

Are You New To Community Management? Want to Brush Up Your Skills?

We know the job of community manager is new, yet the role is so instrumental in transforming the way business gets done. We're thrilled to offer you. . .

Community Management Fundamentals Training


Offered by


40% discount for Jive Customers

Register by December 31, 2013 at just $299/per person


Many of you have asked for more training to help you be successful in your new roles and we’re thrilled to offer Jive customers "Community Management Fundamentals Training", a set of pre-recorded, self-paced courses selected from the WOMMA-TheCR Community Management training.


Who should register?

This program is targeted to Internal Community Managers and External Communities who:

  • Are brand new to their role and need to get quickly up to speed.
  • Have been in their role for 1- 2 years (or program advocates), who want a refresher on role fundamentals.

* Note if you've taken the WOMMA/CR course already, this is not for you.


How do I register?



  • This course is available to Jive Customers at the discounted rate of $299 per person.
  • Simply register here to save your spot in this course.
  • Hurry, registration ends December 31, 2013.

What will I learn?

Participants will learn:

  • The history and current state of community management
  • How to engage in and moderate online conversations
  • How to think about
  • Community measurement basics
  • How leadership and culture impact community strategy


What are the courses in this program?

The program will comprise of

  • one live, virtual training (Session 1 on Thursday, December 19, 2013 @ 1pm ET/ noon CT/ 10 am PT)
  • followed by eight virtual, self-paced online courses (Sessions 2-9)


The following is the course curriculum:

  • Session 1: Defining Communities with Rachel Happe, The Community Roundtable
  • Session 2: Social Strategy: Market Context with Rachel Happe, The Community Roundtable
  • Session 3: External Community Management with Kathy Baughman, ComBlu and Becky Carroll, PWC
  • Session 4: Internal Community Management with Claire Flanagan, formerly at CSC
  • Session 5: Content & Programs with Sarah Mahony, formerly at Children's Hospital Boston and Jim Storer, The Community Roundtable
  • Session 6: Policies and Governance with Dan Brostek formerly at Aetna
  • Session 7: Community Moderation, Crisis Tactics and Listening with Ekaterina Walter, Branderati
  • Session 8: Measurement Basics with Misti Crawford, CSC
  • Session 9: Leadership & Culture with Sara Roberts, Roberts Golden and Rachel Happe, The Community Roundtable

*If you miss Session 1 Live Training on December 19, don't worry, you can catch up in replay!


How long does this program run?

Registration ends December 31, 2013, but course attendees have until February 14, 2014 to successfully pass the course quiz.


The course community will remain active beyond February 14 so participants can ask and answer questions and retain access to the key lessons.


Course attendees who pass the quiz will receive:





Jive Community


Course Completion Certificate


I've already registered. What's Next?

Shortly you will receive an email confirming your registration. These are the next steps:

  1. If you registered
    1. before December 18, you will receive a calendar invite to the December 19, 2013 1 pm ET Live Training (Session #1)
    2. after December 19 (but before the Dec 31 deadline) the session #1 replay will be loaded in the private course community as well as Sessions #2 - 9 for all course participants to take in a self-paced manner.
  2. You will also receive a follow up email with instructions on how to join the private course community "Community Management Fundamentals: Training Course".
  3. In the meantime start following Community Management Fundamentals Course Overview to stay updated on the course announcements.


What is the Community Roundtable? And how can I find out more about them?

The Community Roundtable is a network of the smartest social business leaders. They connect clients with the people and ideas that help clients build and grow successful communities with their customers, employees, and partners. They offer The CR Network, toolkits, community management training, and advisory services. Learn more at Services - The Community Roundtable


Note: This is the first in a series of training we have planned to help you on your journey to become effective community managers. Be on the look out for more value added training in the upcoming year. In the meantime, don't miss out on this limited time offer!

Looking at more new messages on a thread I opened back in February, it's plain to see that a growing number of us are being affected by spam.  I'm sure we can all agree that the costs associated with managing it and mitigating any associated risks are starting to add up quickly.


The truth is, any time you allow users to post something on your website, there's always a risk that it will used for a purpose it wasn't intended for. In short, spam will happen and your primary goal should be on managing it rather than trying to stop it completely (not that stopping it wouldn't be nice!).  Going on lock down mode isn't always scalable, nor is chasing your tail in trying to delete all spam posts: we need to establish a balance between maintaining enough freedom for the community to continue thriving while having enough monitoring tools in place to identify and remove new threats immediately.


Community admins, moderators and the community need better tools to handle spam and I've seen some really good suggestions in the Jive community.  Here are some I've seen around the community and a few more I added:

  • Ability to report user the same way content can be reported
    • Same rules can apply (i.e. # reports hide's user and all their content)
  • Setup different rules for different types of abuse reports: I'd like to specify that items/people reported as spam get hidden after 1 report but items reported as general abuses get hidden after 2 reports.  (Right now, we can only specify globally for all types of abuse reports)
  • Repair and expand the message governor: How can a new user be allowed to post 50 content items within an hour of registering?  We really need the ability to limit how much a user can post, of any content type, within a specified time frame.  The current model only applies to a single content type and simply specifies the amount of time between posts: this needs more thought to come up with a better, more effective model.
  • Ability to activate moderation site wide during an attack rather than the cumbersome space by space approach
  • More rigorous testing to ensure there aren't any ways to bypass moderation
  • Private Jive space where confirmed community managers can share developments on the latest spam attacks away from prying eyes: trends/campaigns, issues identified, etc.

This list can keep growing and I welcome your suggestions.

In case no one has said so, you're all doing a great job handling the spam onslaught: Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm...

Break through results can only be realized in your social business strategy approach if it includes this work stream.  Often the time and resources needed to do this right are overlooked or perhaps simply nebulous because we have to deliver on today’s results.  It is so hard to insert the argument if your company views the effort as another tool rollout.  Just a few thoughts to share with fellow jive software users around key activities in the change management work stream:


1. Do engage with HR to create the conditions or the environment for your program or organization to achieve results.  Call it culture change or innovation – but do engage with HR.

2. Share key industry research, white papers or blogs with leadership over time so that they can learn from their peers outside of your organization.

3. Do what your mother told you when you were young – LEAD BY EXAMPLE.    Requires a lot of effort, but do work across the organization and departments to encourage cross pollination.

4. Document, post, comment and work out loud in an open forum so that anyone in the organization can find your work at their moment of need.  Yes, work out loud.

5. Invite, extend, flex and don’t let the trolls get you down.

As leaders of change programs, we must be continuous learners ourselves.  What this means is that we should always ask for feedback, modify, pivot and adjust and adapt along the way.   We extend invitations for new conversations and possibilities along the way, while making sure we don’t let any turkeys get us down.  Most importantly, work across the organization with your approach so that this new social business program encompasses people, process and technology.  If you hire vendors, encourage them to partner alongside the strategy, design, build and engagement work stream so that you can create the conditions that will allow you to realize the business objectives outlined as a part of your effort.  And yes do consider thinking about Digital Disruption and Leapfrogging as concepts in your approaches.


My hope is to generate conversation around shared practices.

Discovered this contest during a meetup at SXSW 2012. Just thoughts I'd pass it along:


We are looking to recognize and celebrate the incredible work being done by the fastest growing, most in-demand position in all of social network marketing…the community manager. Our spotlight on community managers will last all year, culminating in the awarding of the inaugural Vitrue Community Manager of the Year Award on January 23, 2013. WOMMA is partnering with Vitrue for the “Vitrue Community Manager of the Year Award” and will be featuring the finalists during the WOMMA Summit this November.


Who Can Enter

Community managers can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else through the form on this page. For the purposes of this award, a community manager is defined as someone who spends at least 50% of their average work day managing, creating content for, moderating, posting, and/or analyzing social streams for brands, companies, or organizations.

If you know of a fellow external community manager, show some love and nominate them! =)

Movies, Harvard and Community?


can row.jpg

“Once again, the world was spinning in greased grooves.” A great line from “Cannery Row”, the 1982 movie based upon John Steinbeck’s novel.  “Greased grooves” indicating smooth operation without disruption and difficulty. What does a line from a 80s era movie have to do with social collaboration and community management? Stay with me and I will guide you on a journey to “greased grooves”.


Let me start with research about scientific paper authors and the effect of distance on these authors. “Does Collocation Inform the Impact of Collaboration?” is an article I read recently. In the study about Harvard researchers, the authors conducted a 4 year review on “whether the physical proximity of collaborators remained a strong predictor of the scientific impact of their research as measured by citations of the resulting publications.” In other words, in the advent of increased communication technologies, does physical distance matter for research writers?


The resulting empirical evidence did indicate researchers located in close physically proximity were more likely to cite research findings from a nearby researcher than a researcher located across town. We are not even talking about global distances here! The research was performed among three locations within the Harvard area.  Even in a small geographic footprint, a researcher preferred work from someone in the same building as opposed to a building less than 10 city blocks away. Regardless of a seemingly small distance, distance does matter among these researchers.




Leading to Friction and low “µ”?

Leaving Harvard - remember, this is a journey – and this research, I was thinking about distance. What is distance? From a collaboration stand point, distance is an impediment. If we labor together ( Latin basis for collaborate), we are most likely in close proximity.  Even with our excellent collaboration technology – internet enabled meetings – distance can be a negative factor. As I thought about this more, the concept of “friction” came to mind. Friction is defined as the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers and/or material elements sliding against each other. Friction can be good – keeps your car on the road! Friction can be bad – darn door won’t open! Based upon the research findings, distance/friction has a demonstrable effect.




In today’s global environment, distance is a very real collaboration factor. Reducing this friction form is critical. Internet based social collaboration reduces this friction form. Looking at the above figure, increasing the angle will likely move the block. Gravity will overcome the friction. However, as the block moves, there is still friction. This friction generates heat and wear. This erodes the block and ramp characteristics. We need more than an angle change. Establishing a community can be likened to increasing the angle. However, we also want to reduce heat and wear.




Heat and wear can be reduced via the friction coefficient. The friction coefficient “µ” is the ratio of friction force between two bodies and the force pressing them together. A high “µ” means great effort to move. Low “µ” provides movement with little effort. Movement with little effort equates to reduced heat and wear. Think Teflon, ice and graphite as low “µ” items. Grease is also a great material with low “µ”!


The Community Payoff!!

We have learned that distance effects collaboration behavior. Launching a community is a method to overcome distance. However, this may not be enough as we know there are other friction factors. In a community form, these factors can be poor layout, confusing navigation, multiple clicks to obtain info, multiple logins, etc. Anything that impedes the customer is friction. In a community setting, it’s our job to reduce friction wherever possible. Similar to sliding on ice, we must deliver information and value to a customer at the lowest possible “µ”. We need to keep their world spinning in greased grooves.



With 18 months of data under our belts, we're making a shift in the way we're reporting community health of our external community to our internal stakeholders. We started out capturing and reporting content volumes, popular content as defined by Jive OOTB reporting, and other cumulative data to demonstrate adoption and an active community. This is all well and good, but it wasn't telling us if we were hitting goals laid out in our strategy. The numbers weren't meaningful to the recipients of those reports (Yea, I see there are 200 discussions started this month, but is that good?) The community goal, in summary, is to give our customers a destination to show off all the great stuff they're doing and creating with our products.


Based on observations, members were naturally drawn to specific content types to conduct the showcasing of their work. 1) [Photos and Videos were obvious selections], then 2) [Documents and Blogs], followed by 3) [Threads and Messages] and then finally 4) [Comments].


Each content type was assigned a weighting. The former receiving the heavier weights, the latter receiving lighter weights. Using the 18 months of previous data as a baseline, we were able to create the index. We dubbed the index "EI" (Energizing Index).


Here's an example of what that looks like:

Content TypeWeightAverage VolumeAverage Score
Document Comments5%322
Blog Comments5%382



Every month's score is divided by the average score which gives us the index score. A positive EI means Exceeds the strategy. A negative EI means Does Not Meet. A par EI mean Meets (negative months that are within 5% of the average will still be considered  as Meets).


Now, when someone asks how the community is doing (at least in regards to health and aligning with strategy) in any particular month, it can be conveyed in a singular, digestible and meaningful sentence. "We Exceeded."


How do you report on your community's health?

Are you:

  • Leading a social business initiative for your enterprise?
  • Realizing you're beyond the "how do I measure adoption" phase?
  • Looking for more advanced topics, ones that only experienced social business evangelists face a year or two into their social business journey?


If you've answered "Yes!" to the questions above AND if you are a Jive Customer then the "Social Business Guru" Track at JiveWorld 2011 is for you in Las Vegas, October 4-6, 2011.


This track is for customers, by customers. "Advanced" customers that is.  This track will feature advanced topics for employee and market facing communities around three key topics:

  1. Advanced Structure
  2. Advanced Engagement
  3. Advanced Measurement

Each session will feature a deep dive  not just on one, but on two customer case studies. But that's not all, each session will end with a rapid fire breakout/workshop session, giving attendees time to discuss an advanced topic with their peers to exchange new ideas and advanced approaches to key business problems.


Here's a summary run down of all the topic sessions and speakers:

  1. "Advanced Structure: My Jive Turned Into My Intranet. Now What?"  Krissy Espindola, T-Mobile; Gary Lungarini, CSC
  2. "Advanced Structure: Weaving Community Into The Corporate Website"  Dianne Kibbey, Premier Farnell; Tristan Kime, Sprint
  3. "Advanced Engagement: Getting Beyond Adoption in an Employee Community"  Jem Janik, Alcatel; Tracy Maurer, UBM
  4. "Advanced Engagement:Getting Beyond Registrations in a Customer Community".  Mark Brundage, Adaptu; John Summers, NetApp
  5. "Advanced Measurement:Measuring and Acting on Employee Community Data".  Ted Hopton, UBM; Brice Jewell, Cerner
  6. "Advanced Measurement:Proving Return on Engagement with External Communities". Olivier Blanchard, BrandBuilder Marketing
  7. "Social Datapalooza Panel"  If the mere mention of the word “analytics” makes you swoon—in a good way—then this session is for you. Olivier Blanchard, The BrandBuilder; Brice Jewell, Cerner; Kathryn Everest, Jive Software; David Gutelius, Jive Software; Karl Rumelhart, Jive Software; Deirdre Walsh, Jive Software


I've been busy with my Jive Software track partner watching the content come in for these tracks and listening to rehearsals. As an experienced social business practitioner, I'm learning new things from these social business gurus and I can't wait for you to hear what they have to say. And I'm so thrilled Jive let me bring this new customer advanced track to JiveWorld this year.


So if you're a Social Business Guru, and you're wondering 'WIIFMA" ("What's in it for me: Advanced"), then PROVE IT. Join this track to learn and share your experience with your peers!

Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: