Are You Gardening, or Are You Managing Waste?

Earlier this month, blogging pioneer Jason Kottke tweeted that “social media would be a better place to connect with people if the folks building and using these services had spent formative time on and taken inspiration from Flickr and MetaFilter instead of 4chan and Reddit. Gardening vs. waste management.”

That tweet spoke to Patrick who retweeted it, and that retweet elicited a reply from Lydia Fiedler, community manager for Splitcoaststampers, leading to this episode of the podcast.

What do your community members want out of their community? Are you tending a garden that is actively growing toward those goals? Or are you tolerating noise and managing waste that gets in the way? Having a clear sense of what brings the community together helps Lydia Fiedler keep conversations on track, set expectations for community members, and come up with inspiring challenges.

If you’re planning programming for the coming year or just in a creative rut with your own work, this conversation with Patrick and Lydia offers some great inspiration that can help you create great experiences that will bring your members together and enable them reach their own goals. 

Lydia and Patrick also discuss:

  • Operating in the “gray areas” of community management
  • Features that people clamor for on social media platforms that hosted online communities offer routinely
  • How challenges align with the Splitcoaststampers community’s goal of becoming better artists and crafters

Our Podcast is Made Possible By…

If you enjoy our show, please know that it’s only possible with the generous support of our sponsor: Vanilla, a one-stop shop for online community.

Big Quotes

Being comfortable with making judgement calls for your community (5:15): “If you have a community that you’re taking care of, and there’s something that maybe doesn’t exactly violate the letter of one of your guidelines, you have to be able to make the judgment call that you still don’t want it in your community. Then you have to be able to communicate that, ‘I’m a human being, and I make judgment calls. I do it to preserve the culture of this community.'” –@understandblue

Fostering Splitcoaststampers’ spirit of creativity (9:28): “The most important thing that you have is the definition of what you want out of your community. That’s your little seed that you’re going to protect. I’m in a creative industry, and so the cultural little seed that I have to protect with everything in my online communities is people’s ability to feel creative.” –@understandblue

Cultivating a community of gardeners (13:05): “When you have a really good, strong community culture, … the people that love what you’re building, they help you take out the trash. They don’t want it there anymore than you do, and you know you have a good thing going when you have people helping you with the trash.” –@understandblue

About Lydia Fiedler

Lydia Fiedler is the community manager of Splitcoaststampers, where she has been for 11 years. Lydia has been creating art for nearly 40 years and creating online content for about 20. Crafting spaces that feel friendly and welcoming is her mission, whether at work teaching online, or engaging in social media. She also spent 20 years in the construction industry as an HR director and marketing director, and has worked in software development and at great startups in the Austin, Texas area, but the art industry has been her home for more than a decade. Lydia lives in Austin with her husband and two feline overlords, Maddie and Splotchy.

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Your Thoughts

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