Online Community Unconference 2008: Wiki Open

The wiki for the Online Community Unconference 2008 is now open to all for reading / commenting. Of particular value are the session notes.

The wiki can be found here:
http://www.socialtext.net/ocu2008

Selected session notes include:
Worst Case Scenerios – What to do when things go terribly wrong

Cross Networking Madness – How are niche communities using data portability

Building the Collaboration Ecosystem – All components for community building success

Community Management 101: How to get started in this big wide world

Managing communities across multiple sites – Twitter, FB, MySpace, etc…

Community Year One – Phases, Activities, Successes

The platforms for community are SH*T. Discuss

Managing Entitlement – wrangling with the elite & noisy

There were over 40 sessions, and most have some level of documentation on the wiki.

Enjoy!

Online Community Compensation: Your Input Needed

At the Online Community Unconference a couple of weeks ago, it became clear to me that we are at an inflection point with the “industry” of Online Community. On of the key issues community professionals face is that we (as an industry) are suffering from a lack of solid benchmarks, including compensation of online community professionals. The key purpose of the Online Community Research Network is to work in a collaborative way to research current practice and help establish these benchmarks.

We have put together a short survey about online community professionals compensation, team structure, and current job satisfaction.

The survey can be found here:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=dmkh9tZ6vZHyheMFqv2mcg_3d_3d

If you are charged with community management, strategy or design at your organization, I would encourage you to respond to the survey. We are seeking input from all types of organizations, and all levels of seniority.

If you decide to participate, there are few things to note:
• All participants will receive a copy of the final (aggregate) report.
• All data will be processed and compiled in aggregate. Data will not be reviewed or presented in a personally (or company) identifiable way.
• All participants are entered in to a drawing for 1 of 10 $25 Starbucks coffee cards.

If you have any questions about the study, please feel free to contact me. We hope to close the survey by July 17th.

Online Community Unconference 2008 – It’s a wrap!

Cross-posted from the Online Community Report.

The Online Community Unconference was held this Wednesday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

How was it? In a word? AWESOME.

We had 250 participants from a diverse range of organizations, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Linden Lab, SeeqPod, Flickr, LinkedIn, Cisco, Sun and Current TV.

We had a jam packed day (started @ 8:30 and ran until 5:30). The energy was palpable. Check out the short video I shot below of folks reviewing the session grid shortly before session 1.

http://www.flickr.com/photo_embed.gne?id=2593476294&context=set-72157605703221824

Over the course of the day, participants held over 50 sessions about community strategy, UX, management, member engagement and technology.

Session topics included:

  • How do we motivate empowered users to participate positively
  • Worst Case Scenerios – What to do when things go terribly wrong
  • The Numbers Behind Trust – The hidden numbers that govern group dynamics
  • Internationalizing content & community
  • Meet them where they are vs. If you build it they will come
  • Building the Collaboration Ecosystem – All components for community building success
  • Cross Networking Madness – How are niche communities using data portability
  • Community Management 101: How to get started in this big wide world
  • Web 2.0 Components to build B2B Collaborative Communities
  • Community Year One – Phases, Activities, Successes
  • Community Management 2.0 – Success & Failures
  • The platforms for community are SH*T. Discuss
  • Effective Ambassador programs
  • Pulling the plug – how/when/why?

My observations:

It’s 2 days later, and I have to admit my head is still spinning. The quality of content and conversation was high, and there is still a lo of processing I need to do. My genreal impressions were:

This was the “Community Community” coming together.
This was not an event where a few talking heads lectured the masses. This was a gathering of the tribes for those who manage communities and set community strategy on a daily basis.

The conversation has matured. There were far fewer folks that wanted to talk about community 101 this year as compared with last year’s Unconference. Topics were fairly sophisticated and most of the direct feedback I got was that participants were pleased to discover the level of experience represented by the other participants.

The lack of standards is REALLY starting to hurt. Focus is (finally) beginning to shift from islands of communities to the larger community ecosystem. A general lack of standards around nomenclature, metrics, data schemas (including profile structure), profile accessibility and community UX (to raise just a few issues) is starting to come up as a real issue more often. I think we are finally mature enough as an industry to have the discussions as a body of practice (and contribute to and help direct discussions on tactical problems, like Data Portability).

The best resource about online communities is the community of practice. This statement is actually a common thread in all of Forum One Network’s activities. We believe the best and most valuable source of information about building and growing healthy online communities is the body of practitioners.

We will be opening up the Unconference wiki in about a week, and will post highlights of the session notes. In the meantime, lot’s of folks were twittering and blogging. I’ve posted highlights below.

Other Unconference highlights:
http://twemes.com/ocu2008
http://summize.com/search?q=ocu2008
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=ocu2008
http://www.grimwell.com/?p=211
http://talk.lithium.com/lithium/blog/article?blog.id=lithium&message.id=139#M139

PS: Tasty Snacks = Accomplished!

Online Community Unconference: Help make it the largest!

We have had an unbelievable response to the upcoming Online Community Unconference to be held June 18th. Registration numbers are just shy of 200 people, and we expect to hit 250. We think this will be the biggest event, this year, focused on online communities.

We have a wide range of organizations, industries and personalities coming, including: Adobe, Autodesk, BabyCenter, CafePress, Cisco, Civic Ventures, Comcast, Digg, eBay Research Labs, EdgiLabs, Flickr, Forrester Research, Google, Intuit, Jive Software, Link TV, LinkedIn, NetApp, Omidyar Network, O’Reilly Media, Six Apart, Social Edge, Sony Online Entertainment, SRI International, Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, Sun, VMWare and YouTube.

To see the full list of folks coming, check out the registration page:
http://ocu2008.eventbrite.com

If you are charged with managing online communities or community strategy for your organization, this will be a fantastic event for you. The agenda is participant driven, the networking is fantastic, and the content will be fantastic.

Online Community Unconference: June 18 in Mountain View

OC Unconference East: What to expect during topic selection

We are just 2 days away from the Online Community Unconference East in NYC. We still have about 5 open seats for those or you in the NYC area. You can register at: http://www.ocue.eventbrite.com

There is a really diverse mix of organizations coming, including: BlogHer Inc., Mediabistro, CMP, HP, Gartner, Autodesk, AOL, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, Consumers Union, Zagat, TV Guide, allfacebook.com, Business Week, and Cyworld.

So, how does this work?
The premise of our Unconference series is that the best source of information on the topic of online communities is the community of folks building and managing online communities. The Unconference format provides a venue for folks to lead discussions about topics they are most passionate and knowledgeable about. At the end of the day, attendees walk away with new ideas, perspectives, and a long list of new professional connections.

One of the most amazing parts of the day at our Unconferences is the topic selection process. We are fortunate to have Kaliya Hamlin guiding us through the process again in New York.

The topic selection process starts the Unconference, when any attendee who wishes can come forward, announce a topic, and claim one of the 45-50 open slots on the grid.

Within 35-40 minutes the grid fills up with topics and the first session kicks off. It’s really inspiring to hear all of the topics that are suggested, and to see so many great ideas come together on the grid.

If you would like to see an example of the great content that comes out of an Unconference, please check out the Online Community Unconference 07 wiki. I would encourage you to spend some time looking through the session notes as there is a lot of great content.

Again – we have about 5 seats still available for the Unconference in NYC this Thursday, 2/21. If you would like a seat, register here.