What creates an amazing gaming experience? Is it the amount of pixels and detail in a game? Is it the ever expansive world without boundaries or never ending quests? Those are the things that attract people to a virtual world. What sustains an online virtual world is community. A community that thrives, engages and shares extends a game’s life cycle far beyond its ability to visually impress.
Day in and day out, the community manager strengthens the value of online communities by responding to the needs and desires of community members. They sweep up the messes, tame abusive users, empower the advocates, and pave the way for the perpetual game style to continue its life cycle.
The New York City Department of Education has published a social media guide for students – one for which, very wisely, it got student input. And apparently students were asking for guidance like this. Jane Pook, DOE executive director for digital communication policy and strategy, told the Huffington Postthat demand for the guide “came from students.” Across the river in New Jersey, teacher Kevin Jarrett told his professional network in Facebook that it’s “one of the best guides of its kind I’ve seen, and should be required reading at districts anywhere that truly embrace social media in the classroom.” [As for New Jersey itself, the state Senate just passed a bill that "would require middle school students to take a course on how to use social media responsibly," the Huff Post reported. Let's hope it will be taught well.]
There’s one fact that all successful forum owners will immediately agree upon: Forums require moderation. The success of a forum relies on the quality of content contributed by the community. User retention suffers when inappropriate or irrelevant content is posted. Plus, this type of content creates poor search engine results which hinders new user acquisition. Moderation is essential to ensure the long term health and growth of forums.
#CMAD is over. Or is it?
If you’re not listening to your user/consumer, you're talking to much.
There are so many takeaways from this year’s Community Manager Appreciation Day, it can be a little overwhelming for anyone. With so many community managers taking part and contributing, it reflects on the direction which businesses are moving within the digital age. But it doesn’t stop there. The last century door to door sales model is dead. Businesses recognize the need to engage with their users, and with that, comes the role of the community manager.
Here are three takeaways/contributors Inversoft thought should be placed in the spotlight.
We appreciate and thank every community manager for what you provide to the online community. Have a great year!
A Sense of Community
The other day, an experienced community moderator who follows developments in her field told me she was seeing significant growth of interest from all kinds of businesses not just in protecting their brand online but also in protecting their customers online. They see safety as part of brand protection, of course, but more and more, community safety is becoming a concern in its own right.
She made me think of the city metaphor. Sure, if a neighborhood isn't safe, well-lit and pleasant to be in, people won't hang around, but there's more to it than that. The appeal of the neighborhood isn't just the city's responsibility. City services play a major role, of course, but so do the residents, businesses and visitors. We really are talking about "community" in the strictest sense – lots of participants and roles, each playing an essential part in the overall feeling of the place. No matter how pretty a physical or digital space is, it doesn't appeal if it's not safe, and it isn't any one thing, such as the police, that makes it safe or anything else.
(If you're wondering what she and I mean by "safety," it's a whole lot of things, but – online – mostly safety from hate speech, social cruelty and other behaviors that threaten people's emotional or psychological wellbeing.)