It was my pleasure to moderate the #CMGRclass the week of March 3rd – March 10th. It was an especially busy week as it was the time for mid-term tests and projects. I found balancing my moderation with my regular schedule in addition to midterm activities a real challenge. I recognized that this is probably the way of the real world in Community Management and rose to the challenge. I started to plan about a week before my turn and began looking for good information to share. My topic was blogging so there were numerous directions available, so I had to decide what I thought would be interesting to talk about.
As I thought about creating interaction within the community, I made the decision to post a few things that I thought were informative but to focus on responding to others posts as a way to interact. I wanted to create a more inclusive atmosphere by responding to others posts rather than dictate the topics.
On March 3rd, I posted about tips for choosing blog topics – “50 Can’t-Fail Techniques for Finding Great Blog Topics“. This seemed to resonate with people as they responded favorably to the article. I chose this article because I know I have challenges at time to find the right topic for blogging.
Rod Koch posted an interesting read about CDO jobs on March 4th. I decided to see where people would go with this so I responded to his post and kept an eye on the interactions. This was followed by Kelly’s post about the “hot topic” of the week, the hybrid position of social media manger and community manager. Although the majority of postings were by Jenn and Kelly, it was very informative and got people thinking. A vast amount of valuable information was shared.
My next post was March 5th. I found an article that was very motivating – ” A Physics teacher creates a new Blogging Record in India!!!” It talked about his record 365 blog postings in one year. I chose this as an inspirational piece to get the community thinking about posting in a different way. I feel this was a good choice as the community responded favorably and had a lot to say about the article as well as their own aspirations. After this post things started to slow down a bit. I was not surprised by this as it was quickly approaching Spring Break time. I had anticipated a weaker response towards the end of the week due to this fact.
I did not post on Wednesday because I am at work at 8:30 am and then have classes from 12:30 pm until 10 pm. It does not lend much time to check in to the community or anything else for that matter. Kelly made two posts on the 6th that were informative to the class but did not generate much conversation. Jessica Smith shared a post on March 7th – “Why I Took Down My *Guest Posting* Page“. Responses came from Sonny, Micheal, Jessica M., and myself.
I got back on track by posting in the morning on March 7th. I wanted to create a connection with the community by asking about their personal plans over break. It seemed as though the people that were working were the ones that responded. This was no surprise! I posted later in the day with an article that talked about finishing and posting a blog rather than trying to “make it perfect”. I believe that this was a good choice as the responses were interesting and conversations ensued about the topic. I also posted about “how to monetize your blog“. I decided to post this because several of the members of the community had mentioned they needed to make money or needed a job. I thought this might be helpful information and I had gained a lot from reading the article. Only two responses but I am not surprised as the week was winding down to break.
I wrapped up the week with a couple of posts I found interesting. Again, thinking of my classmates, I offered a post that shares way to get paid blogging. I had gotten some freelance writing work from the site so I thought it might help others in the class.
- I felt my strategy of not over posting but encouraging community interaction was successful.
- Preparing for moderation in advance was the key for me to be ready and have valuable information to share.
- Be aware of reasons for fluctuation of interactions. Having the week before a break has a set of challenges for gaining interaction.
- By reading the community posts you can insight into their thoughts and interests.
- It takes a balance of time, effort and content to gain community support.
I feel I have gotten a good insight of the “real world” position f community manager. It is challenging and exciting. It is certainly not for the unmotivated person or anyone looking for an “easy” job. The commitment to growing a community is challenging but also very rewarding as you learn as much from them as they learn from you.
In reflection of these results, Thursday was the best day relative to interaction. I do believe that an eminent vacation had a strong effect on participation.