Community Management

10 years experience

From small fan sites to large corporate consumer-facing communities the principles are the same. Utilise the experience available to help develop your community further.

Social Media Activity

Tools for Engagement

With Social Media becoming one of the default ways of communicating with customers in the digital age let's ensure you make the most of it.

Strategy Development

Shape and Execute

If you feel like you are fighting in the digital wilderness take a guiding hand to show you how. Get to grips with the environment then plan for success.

A new home for my blogging and a status update….

Sunday, February 24, 2013 @ 08:02 PM
Phil Wride

So December was the last post I made on here and with it came the news that my situation had changed and that I was having various conversations about my next step. Well, we are now two months down the line and there has been lots happening in that time. From a blogging and community management perspective I’m not officially back at the coal face but I am still advising and strategising for various people.

On the blog side, new content about online communities, social media marketing and gamification can be found over at Cheesecake Digital. The site will continue to act as a resource on community management and a mini portfolio site however there won’t be that much new content posted here. I do however still welcome contact and questions about online communities and community management so feel free to drop me a line.

What else has been happening? Well, last week I was invited to give a presentation about online communities and social media at a workshop hosted by Intellect UK and that seemed to go down reasonably well. A big hello to anyone reading this that attended last week!

I’ve also written a reasonably short community management guide entitled “A Beginner’s Guide To Community Management” which you can register for and download on the Cheesecake Digital site.

Changes In The Air….

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 @ 02:12 PM
Phil Wride

Well yes, change is in the air as we head ever closer to Christmas but that’s not actually what I’m talking about. The 30th November was my last day at Zmags and that change means I may well have more free time to blog on the trials and tribulations of community management. What’s next for me I hear you ask. That’s still to be decided, I’m having various conversations at the moment but the core effort will be about getting back to what I enjoy and what I’m good at; digital.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been giving guidance and suggestions to a few CMs on various topics and it is good to know that after a period away from the coal face my experience and thoughts are still valued. It is also good to see this blog still acting as a resource, I’ve been sporadically checking the Google Analytics account and there’s still traffic coming to some of the interesting posts I wrote a while back.

On a side note, for anyone involved in community management you should check out the next edition of the VirComm Summit in February 2013.

Why Haven’t I Been Blogging?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 @ 10:06 PM
Phil Wride

You may have noticed the barren wilderness that has become my blog over the past few months as the posts have become a lot less frequent and for that I must apologise. While I’m hoping it will continue to be a useful resource for people that stumble across it in search of community management wisdom (I use that term loosely) my situation has changed and that has meant two things.

The first is that I’ve now got less time to blog and the second is that my focus has changed, which indirectly leads to the first thing. Confused yet? My role at Zmags has moved away from being all about community management, engaging with customers and building those relationships around an online space. Now I’m smack bang in the middle of the sales process acting as a technical consultant, a project lead, a strategist and a host of other things with even a bit of creative license thrown in for good measure. On the plus side, I’ve managed to bag myself the title of Director, Client Services EMEA, which means I’m now involved in the end-to-end process and not just what happens when a client has signed up.

With this being the case you may start to see a shift in what gets written about here as I have a different type of conversation with clients and build different types of relationships ala;

“client: wouldn’t it be cool to have a QR code in here”, “me: not if you are building the experience to be viewed on mobile because you’d be using the device you’d need to read the QR code with”, “client: oh yeah good point”

Needless to say, I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth and I have started to scribble down some thoughts for a short eBook on Gamification (a pet subject for me) but the number of posts from the early months at EA probably won’t ever return. I understand if that means you choose to hit that unsubscribe button but for those that opt to stay along for the ride, I’ll still aim to give you some food for thought, even if it is less frequently.

Thanks for your continued support and interest.

Communities – What Does The EU Cookie Law Mean?

Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 06:05 PM
Phil Wride

Before we get started, yes I know it’s not really called the EU Cookie Law but sticking ePrivacy Directive in the title might not have meant as much.

So back to the matter at hand. What does it mean for online communities? The directive states that websites are meant to seek consent from a user to drop certain types of cookies, primarily in the form of an opt-in process. If they are registering for access to something that’s a different ball game as that can be classed as active participation, at least from what I understand.

The big part of the directive is in relation to targeting and personally identifiable information (PII). Have you got targeted ads in your community? Do you drop cookies to record data and user behaviour at an individual user level? I know in my previous communities I was tracking contributions on a weekly basis to determine who were the biggest power users in each forum section but was a cookie involved in that? I’d have to ask the development team about that as it’s certainly something I wasn’t aware of. What about other activities or processes; Can you purchase through your community? Do you have surveys that request specific (and individual) user information that might drop a cookie to prevent them from completing it twice?

I guess some of these things could be rolled up in to the “the user is taking a direct action and therefore it’s ok” but some of the harmless activities in your community may come under scrutiny. One of the biggest will probably relate to the serving of adverts, especially through 3rd party networks. If you have those, whose responsibility is it to get a user to opt-in, yours or the 3rd party? How do you go about getting that consent, do you try a subtle approach so it doesn’t ruin user experience and turn people away from your community or will they expect you to be upfront about the issue?

Lots of things to consider with this and I guess the biggest thing is; do you know what cookies your community uses and what are they used for?

Communities – Charity vs. Brand, What’s The Difference?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 @ 03:05 PM
Phil Wride

Community Management as a discipline continues to gain pace and if there’s one thing most CMs agree on it is that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to management style, types of community or community goals. I had an email at the weekend from someone with questions relating to online communities for charities and what might be the best approach for creating them.

They were intrigued to find out whether there was any difference between those communities for charities and those for brands and whether the types of interaction were consistent. This started the cogs turning as I attempted to provide a response based on my experience and views. After much deliberating it seemed to boil down to two things; what the charity wanted to achieve and the nature of the conversations / interactions they were hoping to generate. Things like donations, decisions to take action or any other activities will likely come off the back of those conversations / interactions. A branded community may be more willing to provide a space for general chit-chat if there’s still an opportunity to drop a brand message in every now and again, I’m not sure whether that’s the case for charities given the nature of the subject at the core of the community offering. Users may be more use to brands throwing things their way but from a charity, would that really be what you are expecting?

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