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10 Posts authored by: danthomas

Hi everyone! I used to share my weekly whiteboard fridays a while back and now I'm pleased to share my new video series Teamwork!


They're focused on supporting you to creating engagement and growing communities in fun 5 minute shows. Check out the latest video above and don't forget to subscribe by clicking the watermark or visiting my channel at Dan Thomas - YouTube



Hi everyone


Thought I'd share an upcoming webinar on how to use Jive projects like a pro featuring former Jiver and project manager Miriam Smith !


In the webinar she'll be sharing:


  • Her exact workflow for managing projects in Jive
  • The most effective designs for group success
  • How to engage your stakeholders to provide them exactly what they need when they need it
  • How to track and manage tasks so they can be clearly tracked
  • How to empower your stakeholders to be pro-active on your deliverables, giving you more time to focus on what's important


Click below to book your seat!


Grab your spot



I’m so excited about going to JiveWorldthis year and am writing this update on the train to the airport right now so the process of getting there is well underway!

So while I’m travelling I thought I’d share what I’m most looking forward to, the value i’m planning to get out of it, what I’ll be doing and the take homes I really want to come back with to share with you!

Join me live at JiveWorld 17 on Twitter! Follow @dtdotme

The event

The event itself is three days long from Monday to Wednesday, starting with the pre-conference on Monday, which is an all day boot camp for new communities and community managers on the Monday. The conference itself starts on Tuesday with the keynote from Jive then moves on to talks in six focussed education tracks until the end of Wednesday. You can stick to a track or attend separate sessions, whatever works.

Alongside all of that is a partner expo, networking and meet up events and breakout sessions. 

For the full agenda check out the JiveWorld 17 conference.

The tracks

The 6 tracks are:

– Product innovation – looking at Jive’s product roadmap
– Driving engagement and adoption – strategies and techniques from customers
– Industry focus – how Jive enables transformation
– Learning and development – how to find information and leverage insights
– Managing and measuring mature communities – addressing the challenges of mature communities
– Why Jive? – how to explain Jive to leaders

And there’s plenty of sessions to support it – check out the image below to look through what’s available.

My bit

We’ll also be taking part too! Me and Mark Mazza be discussing our journey at Lloyds Banking Group in our ‘Creating a collaborative culture’ talk and I’ll be supporting boot camp day 1 and sitting on the ‘Stealth adoption’ panel to discuss adoption tactics in mature communities.

My agenda

Getting value in conferences is all about pre-networking and forward planning, knowing what you’ll attend, who you want to talk to and what you want to get out of it. Here’s what’s on my agenda.

Our community’s reaching 2+ years now and the big thing for me is the best things to do next. Where can we add the most value, what’s going to engage the most people and what’s worked well for other organisations?

I’m also interested in value proving both for the community and community mangers themselves. How can we really extract and articulate the value we’re adding and how can community managers get the recognition they deserve for the hard work they’re putting in.

Some of you may be asking ‘aren’t you interested in what’s next for the product?’, which I am, but not that much. Jive will be sharing what’s next in their keynote which is rolled out to cloud customers first and even then there can be a significant delay before you see those features, often beyond a year. Ultimately I’m only interested in what’s available to us right now or very soon and I’m not wanting to get distracted by the bright lights of product development.

The battle plan

Clearly the ‘Managing and measuring communities‘ track is something that I’m focusing on but I’ll be jumping between tracks to really drill into the key areas that interest me. Jive will be recording all the sessions for playback later so I’m focussing on what will add the most value and the sessions I can really grill the speakers with questions in

I’m really looking forward to facilitating the boot camp. It’s great to be able to support other businesses with our learnings and it’s always good to reset to see what early communities challenges are. They often overlap across industry’s and it’s refreshing to see others having the same challenges, it makes you feel better about your own! I’m also looking for those nuggets of things they’ve tried that have worked well to bring back to you all.

I know a lot of the speakers already so I’ll be grabbing them on Monday to find out more about their sessions and vet them ahead of time to make sure I’m attending the best ones! Assuming they stay as interesting as the descriptions, here’s what I have planned.

Day 1 – Tuesday

I’ll be attending How to think about your investment in a collaboration solution on Tuesday midday. With the Collaboration Programme coming to a close at the end of this year this ones really important to us as we look to sum up the success and value of the platform. I really want to dig into the big numbers, how we prove that it was the right thing to do and how much value our community is adding.

Sadly I can’t attend two so I’ll be watching The (corporate) world is flat: Using Jive to increase communication between executives and all associates later, which looks really insightful.

On Tuesday afternoon I’ll attend How do I prove my value? Measuring and making the case to grow the team, looking at that proving the value of community managers element. 

My goal (some may call it a dream) is for community management to be an official role in Lloyds Banking Group and I’d love to be able to show how their value can be proved to support growing teams.

The final session I’ll be attending on Tuesday is Citi’s transformation journey: Igniting employee engagement and productivity across the globe in a highly regulated industry which by its title I think is pretty self explanatory! It’ll be great to see another banks journey and how they overcame similar challenges.

Day 2 – Wednesday

Anyone who knows me knows I love my data, so Wednesday’s first session is a no-brainier – Driving adoption with data ? That’s right up my street.

The next set of sessions on Wednesday don’t really apply to us although I’m interested in watching Innovating on Tradition – Using Jive to build social learning experiences later. In this part of the day I’ll get the most value out of networking and unsurprisingly I have a list of people to find!

The third session is the Stealth tactics for driving adoption panel I’ll be attending. I’ll be joined by New York Life Insurance, Euroclear and Judi Cardinal from Akamai. Me and Judi are basically the same mind on community management and it’ll be great to meet her in person and compare notes our communities which are at the same maturity and have similar challenges.

I’ll close the sessions with Getting your community groove back – the fine art of reengaging customers and keeping your program relevant which it the most exactly matching title there is. Really looking forward to this one to discover new ways of engaging our community. I’ll also be watching the ‘Our digital journey: 145,000 employees unified with a seamless collaboration experience’ later to see how Societe Generale are making collaboration an experience, not a specific tool.


That’s a packaged agenda and of course they’ll be plenty of networking throughout all of that too. I’ll be sharing updates on the sessions, key learnings, takeaways, thoughts and challenges here so stay tuned.

Got a question for me to ask?

Jot it in the comments and I’ll find out for you! Got something you’d like to learn? Let me know and I’ll listen out for you

JiveWorld365  External Communities 

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41 ways to spark collaboration!

Hi everyone, hope you had a great Easter break! Ours was filled with lots of Easter fun with the kids, visiting parks and zoos collecting eggs and having lots of fun.


As we ran between hedges a glimpse of collaboration flashed before me (sadly) and it got me thinking about the process of egg hunts and how comparable it was to how we find, or don’t find, answers in LBG.


Starting the hunt


When we started the hunts we were given a map of the area that outlined the egg zones we’d be hunting in - of course the actual egg locations weren’t on there, we’d have to find them ourselves.


As we hunted through vegetation there were plenty of misses and plenty of false egg sightings with high hopes raised and dashed but we kept going, confident that more chocolate was out there!


We made a lot of progress at first but as our eggs increased the time between findings became longer and longer. We asked the staff if there were any more, at times different people pointed out areas that could be the right ones only to find they’d been looted already or they’d just say ‘sorry I didn’t put them out’. We kept going hoping for more until eventually we decided we’d got enough, or had enough, and it was time to get eating.


Hunting for information


So how does that compare to how we find answers in this business?


We start with our rough map, Interchange, bringing us through divisions and departments in the hope that the information is stored hierarchically and we already know under what team we’d find it. Just let an egg hunt, eggs locations change for each hunt and so do teams and structures, making finding the right team a real challenge.


We look around the teams we think might be right only to find the answers aren't there, so we try somewhere else with a trial and error approach and that doesn’t work out either.


We try asking other egg hunters, checking search for more the right answer. Loads of suggestions come back, we look into those and there’s similar things but not the egg were looking for.


So we approach the egg hunt staff, usually a mailbox for a team we don't know. We wait a few days to hear back only to be told that they don't know where the egg is but they know the egg layer.


We contact the egg layer who says they actually just planned the egg hunt laying. The actual layer is somewhere else and to ask the egg laying team if they know more.


We ask the egg laying team and finally find the layer and we find our egg - hooray! We scoff that egg straight away and don't tell anyone else that that's where the eggs are.


An answer found and a success for business? Yes, except for the amount of time and resources it’s taken to resolve it.


That's why we collaborate


We collaborate to avoid these problems by making what we do less hierarchical, more open and discoverable.


Instead of organizing information into hierarchies, it's organised into interests that we actually look for - Egg Hunt groups, not Zoo owners > Marketing teams > Activity teams > Egg Hunt setters > Egg hunt layers.

Instead of the information being buried, it's made open so others can discover it through search and self service the answer, saving everyone time.


And when the answer can't be found, it's open to others with similar interests to support it. They can point us in the right direction and to the people that know the answer.


That all saves time, energy and effort and is a cornerstone to why collaboration is so important. It cuts out the hunting and gets us to the outcome, fast. That makes us more agile, more responsive and ultimately more secure as businesses of the future.

In the first two posts of this series [Using email to drive adoption & understand your people (pt.1) and Using email to drive adoption & understand your people (pt.2)] I looked at the inner workings of an email campaign to 1,000 people who'd been previously communicated to but hadn't registered on Hive. Their interactions would be tracked and their propensities to take action according to different messaging measured to discover the most effective ways to communicate collaboration.


In this final post of the series I'll dive into the results, what worked, what didn't, what people responded to and their backgrounds. This ones going to be good so read on! If you haven't read the first two posts yet I recommend going back to them first to give these results the proper context.


The results - a summary


People responded to...and didn't respond to...
  • Stories from real people
  • Value that affects them directly
  • Success stories
  • Answers to common objections
  • Urgency
  • Implications of missing out
  • That other teams were on the platform
  • Understanding how others are using it
  • Value that doesn’t affect them directly
Registrations...Sign up's for the quick starts...
  • Were highest from those directly affected
  • Increased as level increased
  • Decreased over the age of 50
  • Are slightly skewed towards males
  • Are lower for contractors
  • Were highest for real stories
  • Are more effective with banners
  • Are effective when aligned with successes
  • Are effective for onboarding


Digging into those


So let's look into those results a little. The expectation of trust being a key driver really showed in the results with response rates significantly higher for stories from real people converting the most colleagues overall. The sense of direct value was particularly prevalent in the results too. People responded to things that showed them direct value to what they do, day in, day out. This is the danger of trying to create too broad communities - if the community doesn't have clear value in the day to day it'll be far more difficult to drive engagement in the early stages.


One surprising area of the results was the lack of engagement with messages regarding missing out. Statements like '1,000 of your colleagues are already collaborating' didn't work. I'd track that back to the findings above again - if people don't see value to them they're not likely to get engaged. After all, they're getting on with their work fine as they are, why complicate things?


Another area that was really interesting was engagement went up as grades increased, which I hadn't expected. It seems defining ways of working for lower grades is absolutely crucial, probably because the lower you go the more process driven you can be and if something comes along which isn't part of your core role and not a process you have to follow it can be seen as optional and therefore overlooked.


Conversion rates were way lower for contractors in it was only in the final 'use it or lose it' email that they started converting. That makes sense as they've been brought in for a specific job in a specific way and they're here for a fixed period. Why invest in Hive if they're not directed to? It raises an important area for communications; if you have a large contractor population, you need to be more direct with your messaging.



And the emails?


What was even more powerful was the insights into each email and the propensities to respond. Let’s have at look at what worked best.


Day 1 – about me and my story


The beginning of the story, outlining my journey to a new way of working.


The email performed well with high levels of registrations and quick start take up. As the link for the quick start was at the bottom, the high performance means people were scrolling to the bottom of the story and showing high interest levels in the content.

The email attracted colleagues across all grades, converting higher (proportionally) as levels increased.



Day 2 – showing existing value


The day 2 email had stronger calls to action and promoted other teams working on the platform. However, despite its large banners and mentions of high volumes of people in their area already working on the platform, the email converted lowest overall and of those conversions, only attracting lower grade staff.Its performance suggests colleagues need actions or stories that they directly affect them and aren’t motivated to action by highlighting a lack of inaction.


It also shows that universal statements on how Hive can support them are unlikely to convert and more detail is needed.



Day 3 – giving back

The Day 3 email was about surfacing tips and solutions for day to day tasks that had come out of the community.It performed well with the highest number of registrations, likely due to its diverse and universally applicable content. Registrations came from across the grades with no specific grade converting higher.
The results also support conclusions from the day 2 email around the need for actions that specifically relate to the individual and their day to day.
Day 4 – Group 1 – for people pro collaboration
This email showcased successes across the platform and hinted urgency.It performed very well with the second highest registrations to date, likely due to a high interest level for content and multiple links to the platform with each case study.
Registrations spanned the level evenly but saw a good uplift from the higher grades who indicated a real interest in the content.Quick starts saw good uptake from low to middle level suggesting that direct examples are effective at inspiring the mid-grades to get involved with and learn more.



Day 4 – Group 2 – for people against collaboration


This email included strong messages on urgency and answers to common challenges to collaboration.


The email performed best out of all emails to date, probably due to its high urgency. Registrations spanned the level and saw good take up from higher grades and contractors which had been previously difficult to convert.


Lower grades were the least responsive, supporting the conclusion that the mid-grades are most responsive to direct examples. Despite the call to action being at the bottom of the email, the quick starts also saw good take-up, indicating a high level of readership for the content.



In conclusion


You made it to the end! I hope this study provides some insights into what can work effectively for you and areas to consider for communicating and inspiring collaboration.


For me, the most important part of beginning collaboration is the journey – understanding where people are coming and making no assumptions about how they’ll work in future. The best collaborative communications understand that people work differently, but also appreciate that collaboration may be something they do (or believe they do) already.


The definitions of collaboration vary and it’s not something you do for the sake of it. It’s got to add value for the individual and teams and that value has to be seen in a relevant way to inspire others to do the same. Generic, universally applicable statements don’t convert. People want to see how it’s going to change their working lives and why they should make a change – after all, they’ve made it this far without it…


Do these results match what you're seeing? What's different and how can we overcome objections to collaboration?


Jive Internal Communities Steven Rigby

In the first post of this series Using email to drive adoption & understand your people (pt.1) I discussed how I used an email marketing campaign sent to 1,000 people who had previously received communications about Hive but had not taken any action.


In it I discussed how the campaign would track their responses to discover their key objections for collaboration and what messages they responded to. The campaign converted 38% of the audience and showed just how effective trust is to bring people on the journey to better ways of working. If you haven't read part 1 make sure you do first!


In this post I'll look at how the campaign worked in detail, what emails were sent and how they were used to measure success.


Let’s get to it


The campaign was 4 emails across 5 days, one per day with a break before the last one – so that’s an email on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Each email also contained a second subscription link – a chance to opt-into a three day quick start campaign that would take them through the basics of getting started in the community and collaborating.


Here’s how they looked:


Day 1Day 2Day 3Day off

Day 4

(option 1)

Day 4

(option 2)

Story that endears the reader to the senderHow the platforms being used nowProviding value with tips to use nowGive the readers a break, no email todaySuccesses and how to take partAnswers to objections

Opt-in for a three day quick start guide


The emails in detail


Day 1 – starting the story

This first email would be coming out of nowhere for the recipient, so it was really important that it wasn’t just selling.

Instead it was an introduction – a story about me, the collaborative journey I’d been on and how it changed the way I worked for the better. It was there to help people get to know me, that I’d be talking to them this week, give them some background and establish trust. It was also designed to create intrigue for future action or immediate action from people that connected with me straight away.


An excerpt from the email

Hi [first name]. I’m [your name and job title]. I’d like to show you how our community has changed the way I work – and could do the same for you.


Back in the day


Before I worked on [our community] I was in the [team name and description of what you did] – and it wasn’t easy. What made it difficult was the way we operated. I couldn’t find the information I needed. Everything had a process and business areas didn’t talk to each other. I couldn’t see what was being done and all the hurdles stopped me from working effectively.


Day 2 – showing existing value


Day 2 continues the story. In the first email they discovered how collaboration can make work better. In day 2, I shared how it’s already making work better for their teams and how they’re missing out.


Changing behaviors towards collaboration is about showing value, so I didn’t just linking to the homepage. The call to action linked to a specific group relevant to the recipient that they see immediate value in.


An excerpt from the email

Yesterday I shared my journey to a better way of working through [our community]. Today I’d like to tell you about all the ways [our community] can make your work better!


It’s already started



Did you know that over [number of your people on the community] from [name of teams] colleagues are already working on [name of work]? They’re collaborating through a group called [your group name and link to it] to [purpose of your group].



Day 3 – giving back


By day 3 they’ve already heard from me twice and if they haven’t taken action already, they could be getting annoyed. So day 3 was about providing value by helping them with time and cost saving tips. Not tips how to use the platform, they’re not on it so they’re useless at this point. Instead, I used tips that applied to the work they’re doing now.


But… I’m not just giving them tips, I’m giving them tips that came from the community and collaboration, while at the same time introducing them to people they don’t know and creating valuable connections for the future.


An excerpt from the email


Yesterday we discovered your colleagues on [your community] and how they’re making work better.

Today in my penultimate email I’d like to share some fantastic tips from the Hive community that’s making their work easier!


Adding public holidays to your calendar

Add public holidays to your calendar in a few clicks!
Go to Options > Calendar > Add Holidays, and choose the countries that you are working with.
– by Norman Taylor –


Day 4 – time to take action


Day 4 is the final email and if they haven’t taken action yet it’s time for them to take action. Whether they’re deprioritising doing it or they’re against the whole concept, I wanted to urge them into action and find out why they haven’t taken it yet.


On day 4 I took the people that hadn’t acted yet and randomly sorted them into two groups, half receiving one email and half the other.


Group 1

Group 1’s email was targeted at people that are pro collaboration but aren’t convinced yet. It was designed to give them absolutely no doubt that there’s value in joining by providing them with a huge list of successes and links to find out more. Whatever their area and whatever they do, they’d have something that should interest them.


Group 2

Group 2’s email was targeted at people that are against collaboration, addressing key objections head on. Objections like why collaboration isn’t just a flash in the pan, why it’s supported by our leaders, how it aligns to our strategy and how it supports our business. It challenged their anti-collaborative behaviour directly and prompted them to get involved or tell us why they were against it.


An excerpt from the Group 1 email

It’s my last email today so I’d like to talk about all the amazing things happening in the community! With over [total] colleagues online, it’s no surprise that the community has seen great successes already – here’s some highlights…


Inspiring colleagues


[Our community] gives everyone the chance to share their thoughts and we’ve seen real success for leaders that have used it to communicate. [Leader in their area] shares his thoughts to his teams via his weekly blog and [another leader in their area] is very active, starting and getting involved in discussions with his teams.


Feedback from the top


When graduate [name] asked us if we attended training after school, she received a great response from the community and support from [leader] to talk to a group of apprentices about his own experiences.


An excerpt from the Group 2 email

It’s my last email today and your last chance to join – so what’s holding you back?

It’s tempting to keep putting it off, there’s lots of work to do and it’s not a priority. But here’s why you really need to try itand why it’s so important to our business.


Why it’s the real thing


[Our community] is supported by [our strategy] to help our business collaborate more effectively. There’s over [total] colleagues on now and more to come. In short? [Our community] is real and it’s coming to you. Collaboration isn’t a buzz word, it’s happening now and you’ve got to try it to experience it.


How it’s supported by our leaders



The entire leadership teamis on our community. Leaders like [X, Y, Z] regularly blog, share and input to discuss strategy and objectives.



The results


In the last post of this series I'll go through each of the emails and discuss exactly who responded to each of the emails and calls to action. There's loads of great insights including how old they were, what grade, whether they were permanent or contractors, whether they completed the quick starts, what worked and what didn't. Don't miss the final one, it's going to be good!


Your thoughts


What are the key drivers for collaboration in your business and what's holding people back? Share your stories in the comments.


Michelle Gantt Dina Vekaria-Patel Kim England Marie Badlam

Despite the best communications campaign, leadership endorsements, strategic alignment and evidence of value, many people still don’t join or collaborate on enterprise social networks.


Exactly why can be difficult to understand and even more difficult to measure. If they’re not responding to invites, they’re not going to respond to a survey asking why they didn’t join. If they’re not seeing the value in joining, they’re not going to try it out until they see the evidence – which they won’t see, because they haven’t joined. It’s a vicious circle and for most businesses, a surprisingly high percentage of staff never even try it out.


In this series of posts I’m going to show you how I used email marketing to increase engagement from 1,000 people on Jive by 38% and learn their key objections to collaboration at the same time, revealing crucial insights into our culture and how to enable our staff to work better. I'm also going to share a toolkit and templates for how you can do it too - interested? Read on...


registration rate
Key insights into
drivers for collaboration



The norm


Users that have logged into collaboration software at least once are known as ‘registered’ and the benchmark across the software providers is around 70% – that’s almost one third of staff not taking part.


That 70% is actually quite a positive benchmark and it's often much lower depending on the type of business and those 30%+ missing staff are a major factor in why many collaboration initiatives fail. Gartner’s report on why ‘80% of social business efforts will not achieve intended benefits through 2015’ remains true and describes the real reason collaboration fails…


Social collaboration doesn't fail because of software - it fails because of culture.


So the big question is, what’s stopping these staff from joining?


  • What is it about the engagement with them that isn’t working?
  • What behaviours are they exhibiting that are preventing them from taking part? A
  • What’s preventing them from changing the way they work?
  • What are they resistant to?
  • What are they able to do?
  • What are their key drivers to change?


What’s clear in these examples is that it’s not just technology that’s important, it’s the behaviors that drive involvement.


Background to the study


At the time of this study we were 6 months into Jive and had around 20,000 accounts provided to our colleagues. They had all received a few emails discussing the importance of collaboration to our business, how Jive fit in and how it would it was our new way of working. They were all supported by community managers and many received additional engagement from our internal communications teams and their leaders.


…but 40% still hadn’t logged in. That’s 8,000 people who weren’t getting involved and we wanted to know why.


The study


It was clear that whatever was being said to these colleagues wasn’t working so I designed a study to find out why. From the 8,000 I chose a sample of 1,000 and used email marketing techniques to send them series of emails with different calls to action, messaging, objection handling and reasons for getting involved. The interactions with those emails would be tracked and by combining their responses with demographic data I’d build out profiles on what worked, what didn’t and what messaging was most effective in converting them to new ways of working.


How it worked


One of my favourite email marketers is Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer who provides great insights into building effective email campaigns, funnels and conversions from proven experience of sending millions of emails every year.


In his amazing free tutorial How to stand out in the inbox he outlines a 7 day process to email marketing which really resonated with me because of its directness, simplicity and speed. This would the basis for my study.


In the study I’d send emails across a 5 day period. Each email would continue a story, told by me and designed to create trust, showcase benefits, handle objections and bring the reader with me on a journey to a new way of working.


Study principles


What I was trying to do with this campaign is change people’s behaviours – heavily embedded behaviours that have been a part of how they work for a long time.


Changing behaviours requires trust. Trust between you and the reader. Trust that your values are like their own and trust that those values are ones that they should strive for. In Harvard Business Review’s article ‘The one thing that makes collaboration work’, Larry Prusak discusses the importance of trust to collaboration and how “trust is the new gold.”


Why am I going on about trust? Because trust is fundamental to changing behaviours and key to the success of this study. All the emails came from me, my outbox, my email address and were personalised for each recipient with their name at the top. I spoke to people as a person, not a mailbox and when people asked me questions I was there to support them. The emails were written by me and not corporate news. They were open and honest and described me and my values. It was all part of the story; for more on the power of storytelling see Dave Lieber’s Ted Talk.


And finally, all the emails included an unsubscribe link. This was a conversation, not a communications campaign. People were free to leave at any time, it wasn’t forced and receiving them wasn’t mandatory.


So how did it work?


Good question - find out later this week in part 2 of this series!


Michelle Gantt

Community managers are funny people. Full of passion, energy and a desire to help, they’re out there every day making peoples lives better and it’s an emotional roller coaster. They’re a bit of a mad bunch, but they’re my favourite people in the world.

Managing communities isn’t easy. They’ve got a lot of pressures – feedback coming in from every side, new initiatives that have to go right, networks to keep track of and unruly members to moderate and keep on track.

With all these pressures it’s not easy to keep it all together and they’ve got to balance those emotional states to be as effective as possible. So what are the emotions that community managers go through?

Super excited

Great community managers are excited a lot of the time. They’re passionate about what they preach and look for every opportunity to share it, often times annoyingly so. They use a ton of emoticons and multiple exclamation marks wherever possible. They’re wearing out the @ key on their keyboard from sharing too much. And – at times – are very annoying to sit next to! ;)


It’s hard being excited all the time and it’s a very high and low emotional environment. Despite constant likes, not being able to affect the change they want or receiving negative feedback can cut deeper that it looks and can bug community managers for a long time.

Dwelling on those can leave them feeling isolated, even though they’re continuing to talk to people at the same time. The problem is most of those conversations are online and remote working’s pretty common for community managers. They’ve got to be proactive and connect and share in the real world to feel better. 

That’s where networks come in; great community managers support each other and affect change together.


We love our communities and we wouldn’t replace them for the world. But sometimes, just sometimes, they can push you to the limit. 

Teaching people to collaborate isn’t easy and your going against heavily embedded behaviours.

 You’ve got to keep repeating yourself day in day out to get people to understand and that can be exasperating!

There are times when you just feel like why don’t these people get it? Can’t they see the value in working together? Why are they not working together in first place? How did that even happen? Isn’t working together something everyone wants to do?!

Then you get on social and say hey guys, why don’t people get it? They say:

“I know right, they should just do this, it’s obvious!”
And you’re going “Exactly! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell them!

It’s at that point when stepping away from the keyboard is the best thing to do. Grab a snack. Have a drink. Vent to the nearest colleague. And come back feeling happy and ready to educate again.


Helping someone share their first blog post and it blowing up with comments. Seeing someone share what they’re doing and the community saying how awesome it is. Being there for the great “Oh, I get it now, it makes so much sense!” moments are make for the best emotional state – pride. 

They’re made even better because they’re earned through consistency, empathy and a desire to share and help people. And the best thing about pride is it’s infectious. 

Your pride drives you to share peoples work so others can comment and share and tell them how much they love it. That makes them even prouder, more likely to share again and create more proud moments.


Seeing your guidance change people go from quiet insular people to collaboration advocates, demonstrating collaborative behaviours, educating others, creating valuable connections, getting new jobs and sharing their passions – now that makes community managers feel EPIC.

They’re those moments where you read a comment and punch the air with both hands. You go ‘yes!’ in your head (or even out loud!) or you race to show people how awesome something is. Epic. Moments. You can’t replace that.

Is it worth it?

Of course, no community manager would tell you otherwise! Share your epic stories below!

 Becky Leung 

I've had a few people ask how I create my whiteboard friday's and you'll be glad to know it's really easy


For these I've tried to focus on value and consistency first, that is not to invest so much time and money in production that the videos never happen or don't get posted to the schedule I promise. Also what I didn't want to do was over-engineer them before I had an audience, instead iterating through practice and experience rather than making too many assumptions up front. That's my working practice now, test, learn, iterate - it makes for a lot of time saved and better results!




So onto the videos, they're filmed with an iphone on a tripod ... that's it, no fancy cameras. As a pro photographer I do have the gear to use but as above it'd take too long on my own so I opted for my phone instead. The phone is held onto the tripod with the top section of a selfie stick I found at poundland, just unscrew from one to the other - easy!


I have a makeshift studio at home and you'll see I'm often in different locations when recording, generally due to where I am at the time.


If i'm filming in a random location I'll look for:


  • A window light without direct sunlight, ideally in front or to the side. If it's light enough I'll turn off the room lights as they're a different colour. You can make up for the light by increasing the exposure on the camera, press and hold on the screen then drag up to increase it.
  • If there's no window or little light I'll turn on the room lights. If there's hard downlights (e.g. halogen bulbs rather than strip lights) i'll arch some paper over the one shining on me which will diffuse the light to make it softer


When filming at home I have a big whiteboard in my garage and large halogen work lights around it. They have opaque lighting filter paper over them to soften them up and are positioned with one in front and one at each opposite corner of the board.




It might sound like a small point (pun intended) but pens that actually show up on film are hard to come by as they need to be heavy ink, have a beveled end and be wipeable. The best I've found so far are these types - Whiteboard Markers . You'll need whiteboard spray and a cloth (not a whiteboard eraser) too to stop slow staining of your board.




Right now I'm not using a mic as iphones need an adapter to get one to work, which is fine if you're in quiet room. I will be using a tie clip mic at some point.


Ideas / shots


My ideas for whiteboard fridays generally come out of conversations I have with people which are often objections or challenges to collaboration. I prefer to address those through videos because they're conversations, not articles. They need a connection with the advisor to be incentivised to watch and be influenced by.


For shots, it's all one continuous recording chopped up. I've started putting a 5 second intro at the start to intice people before the credits which is working well, after that the session itself is one take. I aim for no more than 5 minutes for most material to keep attention and ensure I can keep them going. Those 5 minutes are done in one or max two takes. I'm not worried about mistakes unless they're total stops. If they're just re-pronunciations that's fine and if anything it makes it more authentic.




Production takes literally minutes through iMovie and I have a template where the new video just replaces the old, gets chopped and aligned with the intro and outro and finished. The somewhat budget titles are built into imovie (i do intended to jazz those up) and music is free from Bensound.


Cover photo


If you're using youtube then you'll need a cover photo for your video - a still that grabs peoples attention and gets them to watch (it's not shown on Hive). While you're filming the video take a few seconds at the end to put the phone on timer and grab a photo, trust me you won't get a good cover photo out of a still from the video, it'll either be boring, blurry or awkward looking.


For the cover photo I use the Typorama app, adding the text over the image and adding an overlay light leak to give the text some contrast.


Other videos


If you follow me on Twitter (@dtdotme) you'll have seen my other short vector videos that look great but are SUPER easy to make. [Dan Thomas on Twitter: "Discover the 5 top collaborative behaviours in today's video! #collaboration #cmgr https://t.c… ] They're made with, free if you want watermarks or only $99 a year otherwise. It's an awesome site and we use it to jazz up all kinds of training.


Delfin Juan hope this helps!

Even though we've only had Jive for 18 months, I do find it difficult to remember what life was like before it. Did I really send emails for every comment I had? Were the only connections I made distant voices on phone calls? And why did I hold onto work so closely before ever letting anyone see it?


For me, seeing the change in the way people work and the connections our business is making is just incredible, and that we can do it in an open way, connecting not just on work but on social too, is so valuable. So it made me think - how does Jive make my life and work better?


The secret to a fulfilled life


For over 75 years Harvard's Grant and Glueck study tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations: 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard's classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).


Being such a long study it  required multiple generations of researchers, analyzing blood samples, conducting brain scans and conducting surveys plus actual interactions to compile the findings. The conclusion according to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development was:

"Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."


The study demonstrates that having someone to rely on helps your nervous system relax, helps your brain stay healthier for longer, and reduces both emotional as well as physical pain. He goes on to add:


"It's not just the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship," says Waldinger. "It's the quality of your close relationships that matters."


How does Jive come in?


So can Jive help you have a more fulfilled life? If I think back to before Jive, my working relationships were based around who I spoke to, worked with and who I met in person, most of which were through existing connections. If I was lucky enough to catch up with them outside of meetings I could get to know them even better, but there was always a limit to how involved I could be with them in a work environment outside of where our work crossed over.


Jive's given me the opportunity to reach those people in a completely different way, learn about them, understand them better and create better working relationships. I've also had the opportunity to meet new people I never would have met through shared interests, collaborations and an overwhelming sense of goodwill from a community that really gives back to itself.


A better working life


Being part of Jive has really been a high point in my career and made me feel happier and healthier at work. I look forward to seeing what's going on in the community and the value I can add and even find myself checking my inbox via the app in the evenings, not through a sense of work, but through wanting to be connected to the community. It allows me to be myself more and that ultimately makes work more fulfilling for me :)


A huge thanks to those involved


Jive wouldn't have happened without collaboration and while I'm here I'd like to thank the people that made my journey fun, supported Jive, our community or were just downright awesome. Here's to you all!


  • Michelle Gantt for your expert help in getting us going - and putting up with me!
  • Becky Leung for being super fun and always 100% positive! Ps - becky can you get me a personal blog on the community?
  • Delfin Juan - for... well, what happens in Vegas stays in vegas
  • Alex Gallina for getting Jive and us to our business, not an easy task
  • Martin Finlay for supporting our community and representing us
  • Miriam Smith for being epic ;)


There's loads more and I'll update this doc as and when I think of you but thanks to everyone for making Jive - and work - so great


Who makes your Jive better?


@ mention someone who makes your Jive and work better!


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