The Cupcake Conundrum [VIDEO]

Last month I got the opportunity to speak at Portland’s Digital Marketing Conference. I did an ignite-style presentation titled “The Cupcake Conundrum: Turning Lurkers into Contributors”. 5 minutes, 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Here’s the video. (For a copy of the text and the slides, check out this post.)

The Cupcake Conundrum – Ignite Presentation

I recently gave an Ignite style presentation at this year’s Digital Marketing Conference in Portland, OR. What a rush of nerves and excitement! It was an honor to talk shop about my burning ideas on online community engagement. I only wish it could have been longer. If you’re not familiar with Ignite, it’s a presentation format where the presenter has exactly 5 minutes to talk their talk. They have 20 slides, rotating every 15 seconds. You have no control over those slides. They go with or without you.

While it was exhilirating to experience this as a presenter, I’m sure there were a few blank stares on some of my slides. It’s sort of hard to whittle down the concept of intrinsic values and extrinsic rewards in the context of online community management in a mere 15 seconds. So I wanted to give you the slides, one by one, along with the script I wrote for each. Without the timer running, hopefully it’ll give more food for thought. (more…)

Day In The Life Of A Community Manager, Pt. 1

I’m currently sitting at my Conduit trade show booth (as you can see), waiting for the next round of conference attendees. For a while now I’ve been thinking about writing a “day in the life” series where I can talk shop about the daily goings on as a community manager (thanks @feedia for the idea nudge). This, my lucky friend, is the inaugural post. And in it I will outline the basic gist of what I do on a typical day. Although no day comes close to qualifying as typical…

For all my fellow future community managers out there, I hope I can shed a bit of light on what your work may someday look like. (more…)

9 Ways to Drive Online Engagement At Your Next Conference

In the realm of what I call distributed social business, where your community members are geographically dispersed, I think one of the best ways to increase participation and engagement is through conferences. In most social business or deep collaboration environments, the real world is still where the rubber meets the road in terms of actually pushing forward towards the group’s common goal. So it makes a lot of sense to fully leverage a conference where most or all of your online community members will be. Doing so can deepen bonds among fellow members, enhance the overall sense of community, and build solidarity around the community’s common goals and vision.

I just returned from a conference where nearly half of our online community key players were attending. The goals of the conference were similar to that of the online community’s, so it made a lot of sense to tie the community website to as many pieces of the live conference as possible. I’ll dig into 9 ways we leveraged the conference to foster higher levels of participation and engagement with our community website. (more…)

Gaming Online Community Engagement with the Spaghetti Sauce Model


What spaghetti sauce do you prefer? Thick ‘N Chunky? Traditional? Old-World? In the 80’s, Prego re-invented the spaghetti sauce market by allowing customers to choose based on their preferences. The idea was a game-changer in the commercial food business. Prior to Prego’s six spaghetti sauce varieties, there was one variety of sauce: Thin and red. This was the top-down, expert-selected, head-chef approved sauce who’s lineage stemmed straight from Italy. If it was authentic, it must be the best, and therefore everyone will want it, right? Prego’s antithesis was “maybe people want a variety of sauces to choose from”. To Prego’s delight, offering that variety of flavors increased sales and put them at the top of the sphagetti sauce chain. Ragu reigned no more. (more…)