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!