Building a Community for People With Dementia

Most of the members of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Talking Point community don’t have dementia. But 4% do. And that creates a unique challenge when it comes to designing an online community.

Features that we might take for granted, like saved drafts, take on a whole new meaning when you are experiencing short term memory loss. Community manager Serena Snoad joins the show to talk about building a welcoming community for people with dementia, plus:

  • How memory loss impacts how they moderate
  • Debriefing sessions that Serena offers to staff members who have handled a stressful issue
  • Why XenForo was the right software choice for them, in their recent relaunch

Disclosure: Serena has kindly supported our show’s Patreon campaign. I’ve known her for years, and it has nothing to do with her being a guest on the show, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

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Online Community for a Funeral Insurance Company

We’ve covered a lot of community use cases on Community Signal. Here’s a new one: An online community for a funeral insurance company.

That is just one of many communities that Kirsten Wagenaar has helped build, in her 8+ year career in online community. As the founder of CMNL, the organization for Dutch community pros, she has been among the leaders in growing the community industry in the Netherlands. We also discuss:

  • The reasonable approach to community ROI
  • How client expectations for community tools are sometimes disconnected from reality
  • Kirsten’s advice for starting your own community association

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Delphi Forums, the Enduring Legacy of an Online Pioneer

Pioneering online service Delphi, launched in 1981, has been a lot of things over the years, as ownership changed hands several times, and priorities shifted. But in 2017, what’s the enduring legacy of Delphi? What remains today? The forums.

Dave Cayem spent 15 years at Delphi Forums, surviving multiple acquisitions and eventually leaving as vice president and chief community officer, before moving on to senior community and customer service roles at CustomMade and Booster. Dave shares stories from his time at Delphi Forums, plus:

  • Introducing a freemium model when people are already used to free
  • How Dave addressed a community that was “not too pleased” when he joined CustomMade
  • The similarities between community and customer service that he didn’t fully appreciate until switching from one to the other

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The One Community Metric to Rule Them All

You just took a new community job, and you’re already feeling the pressure to prove your worth. You need some quick community wins. What metric should you focus on?

Bas van Leeuwen has an answer. He is the co-founder of community metrics dashboard Community Analytics, and community measurement fills the second half of this episode. Analytics aren’t scary or difficult, you just have to know what to look for. Plus:

  • The state of community management in the Netherlands
  • Integrating community into an “inside-first” company
  • Bas’ one community metric to rule them all

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When You Ask a Room Full of Senior Staff What Community Is

In January, Project Management Institute community engagement specialist Marjorie Anderson delivered a presentation to a room full of senior staff. She asked them a question: “Can anyone tell me what community is?”

Surprised by the answers she received, Marjorie endeavored to make community more well understood by those in the organization. Those efforts are a topic on this episode, as are Project Management Institute’s move to close 36 communities or practice in favor of ProjectManagement.com, a previously independent community that they acquired at the start of 2014. Plus:

  • Why Marjorie initially thought she wouldn’t be a good fit for a community role
  • The communities of practice model, and why it no longer served PMI’s members
  • What Marjorie is focusing on as she revamps their community metrics

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Community Experience is Part of the Customer Experience

After 8 months at construction software provider Procore Technologies, Jenn Chen is close to the finish line. The company will soon launch their online community.

The process of getting there is the focus of this episode, including how Jenn worked for interdepartmental support and buy-in, conducted surveys with beta users (what happens if they don’t actually want a community?) and where she’s at right now. Plus:

  • The conversation that led to her becoming a community pro
  • The word to say if you find yourself in a room of salespeople
  • How she has brought offline conversions, at conferences and events, online to the community

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The Cost of Being a Prominent Woman on Wikipedia – and Online

Emily Temple-Wood joined Wikipedia at 12, and became an administrator at 13. In 2016, she was honored by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales as Wikipedian of the Year. For nearly her entire time on the site, she has dealt with obscene, personal abuse.

“People have been harassing me since the first vandal figured out I was a lady,” Emily told Wired earlier this year. “Which was within a month or so of my joining the site.” She has turned that abuse into motivation, increasing the quantity and quality of women’s biographies on Wikipedia, through efforts like WikiProject Women Scientists.

On this episode, we talk about the abuse Emily has received, and how it has changed over the years, along with her methods of dealing with it. Plus:

  • The incredible contribution of teenagers to online communities and collaborative platforms
  • Why Wikipedia spoke to pre-teen Emily
  • Is there more that Wikipedia should be doing?

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The Ups and Downs of My Community Management Job Search

As I mentioned on our last episode, I recently made a big career change. We talk about careers in community management, and how to advance, fairly regularly on the show. I also love to talk to guests who are in the moment.

I’m definitely in the moment, so why not put myself under the microscope, and talk about my own search for a new role? But I don’t want to just talk to myself. My friend Brandon Eley knows as much about my search as anyone else does, and he agreed to develop and host this week’s episode of the show. He pushed me to talk about the process I went through, and why I accepted this role, including:

  • What hiring managers saw as my weaknesses
  • Why I turned down or turned away certain jobs
  • A role I wanted, after going through the interview process, that didn’t want me

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Breaking the Streak

We’ve released episodes for 20 consecutive weeks, and I really wanted to keep that streak alive. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pan out this week, and we’re going to have to take a break. But we expect to be back for our September 18 episode, and I look forward to talking with you then.

Thank you for your patience and for listening to the show.