Community Management in France

The role “community manager” can mean different things at different companies and the responsibilities for this role can often be conflated across different teams and areas of expertise. But how does this role translate across different continents and cultures?

In this episode of Community Signal, Patrick and Jean-Yves Lemesle discuss just that. Jean-Yves is an experienced social media and community manager and he shares how both of these areas of expertise, social media management and community management, came to have separate career trajectories in France. They also discuss:

  • How Jean-Yves has built a career moving around Europe
  • Why the number of people who speak a language can impact how successful you’ll be in community
  • A prevailing lack of focus in many interest-based Facebook groups

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Acing Your Next Community Job Search

When was the last time you looked at your resume? How about the last time you wrote down a list of everything you’ve worked on and accomplished at your current gig? If it’s been a while, this episode is going to come with some homework afterward.

Maria Ogneva, who has held senior community roles at companies like LinkedIn, Salesforce and Yammer, shares the story of how she turned a lost job into a “fun” journey. Fun is in quotes there because I’m sure that for most of us, the job hunt is hard to imagine as anything but daunting. But by the end of Maria’s story and hearing her tips on knowing your worth and putting yourself and your work out there, I myself became excited about the new tools and motivation that I have going into future job searches.

After you listen to this episode, I’d encourage you to revisit your LinkedIn, resume, or professional bio and make sure that it’s fresh. You never know when an interesting opportunity might come your way and you’ll need to forward it along!

Patrick and Maria discussed:

  • Breaking the work of community into small, manageable tasks
  • Approaching your job hunt from a place of empowerment
  • How to always be prepared for your next big opportunity
  • Tooting your own horn (that’s talking about your accomplishments)

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Never Put All of Your Eggs in One Community Basket

Can you recall the community-related news and trends of last summer? Let us refresh your memory.

YouTube announced new guidelines for advertisers that inadvertently led to significant changes in revenue for many creators on its platform. Photobucket broke countless images across the web without notice. The city of Charlottesville, Virginia was descended upon by white supremacists during the violent, hateful, and deadly Unite the Right rally, yet Twitter still gave them (and still gives them) a place to convene and organize online.

These topics were covered on Community Signal as they happened and this week’s episode is a gathering of unreleased clips from last summer. These were originally released to our Patreon supporters between July and September of 2017. If you’d like more behind the scenes clips and the chance to contribute potential questions and conversation topics to the show, please consider backing our show on Patreon.

In this compilation, you’ll hear from Jonathan Bailey, Jessamyn West, Christina ShorterAlessio FattoriniLilah Raptopoulos, Josh Millard, and Randy Farmer.

These clips touch on the events mentioned above, the following topics, and more:

  • Having a backup plan when you rely on third-party software
  • Creating a culture of reciprocity in support communities
  • The goldmine waiting for journalists in the comments section

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When Community Managers and Middle Managers Join Forces

Think about the last time you were working on a new product, tool, or resource for your community. You probably looked through feedback that they had shared with you and compiled a list of all the needs they have. You created a “use case utopia” that you thought would be well-received by your community and internal stakeholders.

As Jakkii Musgrave shares in this episode of Community Signal, use case utopias can be easily conceived, but not so easily implemented without the guidance of shared goals or a community manager to make sure that things are moving in the right direction.

And related to the topic of conversation within the workplace, Jakkii gives her take on how GDPR (the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation) will impact the work of community professionals. If your community has members that are from the EU, make sure that you and your company are aware of how these new regulations may impact how you handle their data. And if you’re well-read on this topic, we’d love to have you on the show!

Jakkii and Patrick also discuss:

  • How GDPR will change content sharing and data storage within employee communities
  • Why digital and network literacy are increasingly important in our ever more dispersed workplaces
  • Getting buy-in from and sharing skills with every level of your organization

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Snapchat Story-Sized Humanity

What brings you to your favorite social networks? Is it the people that you know you’ll find there or the topics and content that you know you’ll be able to discover? In this episode of Community Signal, we dive deep into what Chris Brogan, a digital marketing expert and New York Times bestselling author, thinks he wants from social networks and conversely, how he observes his children using Twitter, SoundCloud, and more.

The gaming industry is at the forefront of this conversation. Chris and Patrick discuss the unique social engineering behind the Nintendo Switch and how other hardware items, like digital photo frames, really need to catch up.

All this, plus:

  • Teens forecasting the future of content and internet platforms
  • Fortnite and the Queen’s gaming preferences
  • The reckoning coming to the way we work

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Building a Community That Won’t Cash Out

RPG (RolePlayGateway), a community of game designers, world builders, and storytellers scripting entire universes, is entering its 14th year of existence. And while RPG founder Eric Martindale knows that some members of the community might move on, he’s in it for the long haul. He’s energized by the relationships that he’s seen members of the RPG community build and the excitement behind INK, a Bitcoin-backed digital currency that people within the community are using to tip one another for their creative work, and purchase digital goods.

In this episode, Eric gives a crash course on blockchain, which he chalks up to being a “highly inefficient database.” If you haven’t done your homework on this subject yet, his definitions and suggestions on things to look out for will help get you up to speed. We discuss:

  • The ups and downs of managing one community for 14 years
  • How the RPG community deals with wordiness
  • Three things that every community manager should know about blockchain

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LEGO Wasn’t Always Open to Your Ideas

LEGO might be open to your ideas now, but it wasn’t always like that. Afraid of legal blowback, they once turned away ideas – and largely ignored their adult fan base.

Jake McKee helped form LEGO’s first community team, and usher in a new era of openness at the company. He opened the lines of communication between adult consumers of their products, who had more discretionary income than the kids, driving home the understanding that LEGO was not just a child’s toy company. Plus:

  • Finding the job you want, not necessarily the job that’s posted
  • How Jake made busy people find time to talk about community
  • Building super user programs

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When the Secret Service Visits You Because of Your Community

Once worried that big social media companies would displace online forums, Vlad Dusil is now “pretty damn confident” that niche forums are not only alive and well, but here to stay. He’s the COO and co-founder of PurseBlog, including PurseForum, a flourishing community of over 550,000 fans of luxury handbags.

Together, Vlad and his co-founder and wife Meaghan are building a trusted community of luxury handbag enthusiasts and authenticators. We discuss:

  • The resurgence of niche forums and communities
  • How authenticators volunteer their services to help other community members make safe handbag purchases
  • A surprise (and somewhat nerve-racking) visit from the Secret Service

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He Hacked My Website

Jared Smith found my community when we were both teenagers. He got to see me early in my career. He became a great contributor to the community, as well as a moderator. He also hacked my website.

In high school, he couldn’t find any other Van Halen fans, so he joined an online community. That took him down a road that led to him co-authoring 2005’s Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress, and building a career. Plus:

  • phpBB’s insularity problem, that helped create an opportunity for Jared
  • The shift away from chronological order online
  • Russia’s manipulation of opinions online, through online communities and social spaces

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Why Ubisoft Created a Community Content Team

Ubisoft’s community content team helps the gaming company’s community developers and managers by creating polished content, inspired by and sometimes derived from the community.

After spending time as a community developer himself, Zack Cooper was tapped to start this team, and has led it for the last 3 and a half years. We discuss:

  • How the community content team benefits the community team
  • Zack’s favorite stories of content that has come from the community
  • If this model could make sense in other industries

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