When Marketing Automation Becomes a Community Problem
I’m joined by Structure3C’s Bill Johnston, one of my favorite thinkers in the community space. I couldn’t think of a more fitting person to help me kick off the show. He shared a fascinating story about what happened when marketing automation at Autodesk fell in his lap. Plus:
- How Bill developed the community and social listening and response program at Autodesk
- Why communities need to partner with networks
- The community industry’s fractured leadership
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: Emoderation.
“[When I was tasked with the marketing automation strategy,] what I challenged my team with was: What would this look like if it were coming from our community managers? They were basically writing to the member base everyday. What would these feel like? What would that story arc over 30 days or 60 days look like?” -@billjohnston
“You look at the churn rate for a community manager or professional, and it’s really hard to find somebody in the industry who’s been in the same position for three years, and in some cases two years. You have organizational churn on strategy and operations, etc. The fact is: social and community don’t have a clear home.” -@billjohnston
“With the different research and community of community manager organizations, it’s still amazing to me, the implicit and explicit firewalls between them when we’re, at the end of the day, all just trying to get the same stuff done.” -@billjohnston
About Bill Johnston
Bill Johnston has launched successful online community initiatives that have connected over 10 million customers and realized upwards of $100 million in financial impact for the host organizations, including TechRepublic, Autodesk and Dell. Bill developed and hosted a number of pioneering conferences, including the Online Community Unconference and also conducted the first online community ROI and online community compensation research while at Forum One.
Bill is excited to bring his thought leadership and online community expertise to organizations that want to grow their businesses by nurturing their customer communities through his new consultancy and advisory firm Structure3C.
Welcome to Community Signal, the podcast for online community professionals, sponsored by Emoderation: smart social, globally. Here’s your host: Patrick O’Keefe
Patrick O’Keefe: Hello and thank you for joining me for the first episode of Community Signal.
Ten years ago, almost to the day, I launched what might have been the first community management-focused podcast, The Community Admin Show. Over the years, I’ve hosted four different podcasts and video shows, more than 600 episodes in all, but I haven’t hosted a show in more than a year. Recently I got the urge to do it again and was really excited to do a show about community management.
This is going to be a very high-quality, well-produced podcast about the community profession. I know so many great people in the space and I can’t wait to introduce you to them through this show and have amazing conversations with them, drawn from both my experience and theirs, which brings us to today’s guest.
When I thought about the type of guest I’d like to have on the first episode, the type of professional and person that would set the tone for what the show is all about, the first name that flashed to mind was Bill Johnston, one of my favorite thinkers in the community space.
Bill has launched successful online community initiatives that have connected over 10 million customers and realized upwards of $100 million in financial impact for the host organizations, including TechRepublic and Autodesk and Dell.
Bill developed what I assume was the first community conference, the Online Community Unconference, and conducted the first compensation study for the community industry while at Forum One, where he held the title chief community officer.
Currently, Bill is the founder and principal at Structure3C, a new consultancy and advisory firm that helps organizations that want to grow their businesses by nurturing their customer communities.
Bill, welcome to the program.
Bill Johnston: Thank you for having me, Patrick, and I am completely flattered to be one of your first guests. I have to say, a high-signal podcast on community management and strategy is sorely needed, so I’m very stoked, if you will, that you’re starting this.
Patrick O’Keefe: Thank you very much! You’re not one of the first, you are the first, so …
Bill Johnston: Wow. Okay, no pressure.
Patrick O’Keefe: Yeah, no pressure, no pressure.
Bill, you went to school for graphic design, and after college you went to work for a now almost 70-year-old company, Cardinal Aluminum, in Louisville, Kentucky, which has a fine picture frame moulding operation called Designer Moulding. You did industrial and product design, designing product lines for their framing operation, and you developed their web presences, including one of the first e-commerce sites for the art industry. Was the web portion of the job an extra tacked on?
Bill Johnston: It was. I’m embarrassed but flattered that you were able to dig up that part of my career.
It’s a really funny story. I graduated with a Graphic Design degree, and literally, the week I was graduating, I saw a show on PBS about the internet and Mosaic, and the fact that you could probably go into your university’s library and get online.
Literally, if you can imagine, 1995, I’m graduating from college with a Graphic Design degree, having to fight for any computer time I can get and to fight to do any assignments on any sort of digital platform, and I go into the library, I experience the internet as I’m leaving college and I’m like, “This is exactly what I want to do!”
I graduated, I was in Kentucky at the time, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky to be with my then-girlfriend, and this industrial design position popped up. It looked really interesting. There was the whole dimension of art and framing, which I thought might be cool, and I got a couple of trips to Italy out of the opportunity, but you’re exactly right, the internet portion of the job was a complete add-on.
I just pitched it to the CEO one day in passing. He’s like, “Hey, that’s really cool.” We had a ridiculous budget of 20 grand. He’s like, “I’ll give you 20 grand if you can find somebody to build the e-commerce site, to actually do the coding and do the actual check-out portion. Go for it.”
We built eFrame.net. We figured out how to do all the backend components, et cetera. It really was, I think, the first e-commerce site in the art and framing industry. In fact, I remember interviewing with Art.com before they launched for a position there, which then eventually, it turns out, wound up in Emeryville, Kentucky.
Anyways, long story short, it was one of many positions where I actually wound up pitching what I really wanted to be doing …
Patrick O’Keefe: I love that.
Bill Johnston: … to the CEO.
Patrick O’Keefe: I love that story. I love the story because, the way you told it is, you’re about to leave college with this degree and here’s the internet. It’s almost like, “My degree might not be … but I want to work on the internet,” so you found a way to make it work.
Bill Johnston: Yeah, and one final point. One of the things I learned in college, I use everyday, many things of course, or maybe not “of course,” “hopefully,” but one thing really stuck with me which is I had a sculpture class that essentially taught design thinking. It taught a design methodology that is all about the design process, ideation, definition, selection, et cetera, and that one class alone was worth the price of admission because I use that design and problem-solving framework everyday.
A funny story from Autodesk. We were launching a blog called On-Track, Off-Target with one of our futurists, and the story goes, the Apollo missions, the rocket was never, ever specifically and truly pointed at the moon. It was always one or two degrees off. The mission, you were always course-correcting to get to the moon. You were never pointed exactly perfectly at it. I thought that was really a good analogy, right?
Patrick O’Keefe: That is. That’s very cool. That web portion at this old Kentucky company is what leads you to TechRepublic and to Gartner and getting work as an information architect and lots of UI and i-work, but that’s really where you got your first taste of online community, right?
Bill Johnston: Right. The real first taste was some notion of customer centricity. It was some notion of we’re trying to design these experiences for people to use. They’ve never really been done before. How do you actually do that?
That was really the first question with the first wave of the commercial web was, what’s the best way to actually go about doing that? What’s the best way to actually go about structuring information that’s consumable and structuring experiences that are usable? Duh, the best thing to do is, ask the people using it.
In a weird way, that was my first introduction to any notion of social. Then when we actually got the thing built, lo and behold, it turns out to be a community site, so my first love was really UX and IA, but then quickly, as I saw people interacting globally at scale to solve problems in an almost wholly altruistic way, it literally blew my mind. It was like, wow. When this stuff happens at scale, really good and valuable things can happen.
Patrick O’Keefe: It’s funny, you’re talking about the late ’90s, I really started looking at community stuff as a user in the late ’90s and did a little moderation and got started seriously in 2000.
You talk about trying to decide how to structure information, one of the things I think people take for granted now 15, 20 years later is how easy it is to have decent software and how easy it is to install WordPress in five seconds, how easy it is to install, take your pick of any low-cost or free community or forum software, where back in those days, it wasn’t there. It was hard and what was there wasn’t easy, and it was a challenge to put that information together in an easy-to-use way.
Bill Johnston: Yeah, absolutely. I remember a very painful process of hand-building threaded discussions with a nested display so that they were easier to scan, and there were nights and weekends we spent whiteboarding out and iterating. This was months of work to do something to your point that you can basically flip a bit and light up today.
Patrick O’Keefe: Exactly. Kids these days.
Bill Johnston: The other thing, not to hyper-focus on the old days, but when you look back, the web was inherently social at launch, and then evolved for a while, anyway, into more of a push media experience, but the first sites, the 3 Cs of TechRepublic were content, commerce and community.
Community and social were really baked in to be one, and then as everything scaled, I think the community portion has pretty consistently gotten lost in the shuffle of every wave or evolution that we’ve experienced.
Patrick O’Keefe: You gave a great talk about community strategy at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit in October 2014. I recommend people to watch it; I’ll include a link in the show notes on CommunitySignal.com. Perhaps my favorite story from that presentation was related to how marketing automation for the Fusion 360 product fell into your lap and how you approached it as a community problem. I’d like you to talk about that a little bit.
Bill Johnston: Sure. I’ve had this happen a couple of times where, and it’s all been very collegial, not mean or ill-intended, but it happened with ideas from Dell, and then it happened with marketing automation on the Fusion 360 team where we had a management offsite, it was a new team coming together, and it was divvying up of responsibilities like, “You take this piece, you take this piece. Bill, you’ve got community and marketing automation and the Marketo platform.”
You had these moments where you’re like, “What?! That’s not going to inspire me to get out of bed.” I think it usually takes me on average a month to passive-aggressively try and get rid of it or stick it on to somebody else’s plate, and then I’ll eventually accept the fact that it’s in my lap and make the best of it.
The cool thing, and I can’t take all the credit for this because I had a great team working with me, but when we started to think about Marketo not so much as a push marketing tool and accepted it into the fold and just said, “How can we make this not suck, and in fact, how can we make it actually really awesome and complement everything else that we’re doing?” it was an awesome breakthrough.
It sounds positively goofy on the surface that we didn’t get there immediately, but it speaks to corporate inertia, how things can just get on the rails internally and you just accept them for years as they are instead of pulling stop and taking a stand.
With the nurture marketing specifically, Fusion is based on a trial to conversion model, and so the second you hit download, you’re entered into a queue where emails start being fired at you, were initially pretty bad. The first one was from the product team and it was funny and engaging, but after that, you just started getting essentially spammed with basically, point number one, try to do X, Y and Z, point number two, how about buying.
What I challenged my team with was, what would this look like if it were coming from our community managers? They were just basically writing to the member base everyday. What would these feel like? What would that story arc over 30 days or 60 days look like?
What came back was really amazing. I admittedly am a bit of a micromanager. I am not a bit of; I am a micromanager. I just took a giant step back this time and let my team run with it. The stuff they came back with, the narrative arc, the content was amazing, and we actually tested it. We tested all of the messaging with community members before we ever put it into production, and then further fine-tuned it.
Open rates for those emails I think went from single-digit percentile to almost 50%. It may have even been better. I don’t have the stats in front of me.
Patrick O’Keefe: Wow.
Bill Johnston: It was just a total, total turnaround.
We had people, even though I think intellectually everyone knew they were automated to a certain degree, because they were coming from the community managers’ email accounts and they had their actual email signature on there and their picture, they would start dialogues with people.
There was not an insignificant percentage of people responding directly back to the community managers asking help questions, asking how-to questions, and even in some cases starting conversations. We had a gentleman in I think Hong Kong start writing to the community managers just in a very friendly way, not even about the products, just about establishing a rapport, which really blew me away. It shouldn’t, because all of this stuff is social, it’s about building relationships, but when it happens, it’s pretty cool.
This gentleman actually couldn’t buy the product because of some embargo restriction in Hong Kong. He loved it so much and loved working with the community managers so much that, he had an AmEx Centurion card and the AmEx, I think, let him change his address temporarily so that he can make the purchase.
That’s how much loyalty and how much he was endeared to the team, just because of these simple things that made the small stuff and the stuff that could’ve been automated and could’ve been a little robotic, made it a little more warm and more human.
Patrick O’Keefe: That’s amazing. I’d like to pause to acknowledge our sponsor, Emoderation. Whose social media is better, yours or your competitors’? Emoderation’s social media benchmarking helps you figure out how your brand stacks up against the competition and how you can improve.
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I’d like to thank Tamara Littleton, Blames Grimes-Viort and Will Bond at Emoderation for backing our first run of episodes. Without their support, we couldn’t produce the show that I envisioned, and the quality of the program means a lot to me.
Bill, at Autodesk, you developed a social and community listening and response program to ensure customer issues received a response within 24 hours. How did that program work?
Bill Johnston: To get to the 24-hour response on social, there was obviously a technical layer to it, there’s a programmatic layer to it, and there was an emotional layer to it, if you will.
From a technical perspective, I think anyone who’s used any of the, frankly, any of the platforms, they don’t have to be big anymore, there are myriad ways to set up notifications and flow and routing to ensure that inbound stuff gets to the right people in a timely fashion so that setting up the technical stuff and the program is relatively straightforward.
The interesting thing was, there were two emotional battles to fight. One was getting the support agents to care that social was a valid touchpoint, and the second was, I was working with this really wonderful senior vice-president named Moonhie Chin, who I think one of the smartest people in the world. She oversaw the support functions and other operational dimensions of Autodesk, still does. Just a really wonderful and smart lady.
She was a really tough sell on social media. Considerately, she totally believed in the power of community and the value of community, especially from a support perspective. You have inbound questions, you have the community complemented by the support team answering questions. As other people encounter those questions, you have this amazing Google juice with community-based knowledge that surfaces to the edges of support query, so you’re deflecting calls and providing value vis-a-vis support communities.
It’s a really straightforward ROI equation, even if, admittedly, I didn’t describe it in a very straightforward way. Keep in mind, the community guys evangelizing social participation to this lady who’s already sold on community, and it’s usually the exact opposite. In many cases, at Dell, I was the community guy trying to make a case for community in a very social media-dominant world.
To convince Moonhie, I developed something called the Gratitude Index. I had a pilot team, once we got the technical and programmatic infrastructure set up, I had a technical team knocking out the inbound questions in a thoughtful and quality way.
What I noticed after a couple of weeks in was, we were getting these just amazingly warm responses back. It wasn’t just “Thanks,” it was, “Oh, my God, you saved my ass on a project. Thank you so much.” We developed this Gratitude Index, and I think have a screenshot of it somewhere I can send over, but essentially we looked at, based upon the volume of responses back to our outreach, what percentage of responses had some degree of measurable gratitude from sentiment and content.
We started measuring that, and then we started benchmarking it against other leading brands who had supposedly really great social engagement. We performed, out of the 15 brands that we were monitoring, including Zappos, including my alumni, Dell, we were consistently in the top 25% of our own little index that we were monitoring.
I was able to convince Moonhie via something emotional by showing her this qualitative content that we were pulling out week over week, month over month, look how flipping happy we’re making people, and then here’s proof compared to other, quote-unquote, “social brands.”
The other battle, which is a smaller battle, was just with the support team in general. Just some of the folks weren’t convinced that was a quality place to spend time. On that one, it just took time and it just took little winds by slowly warming them up to the idea of participation, and then the satisfaction they were getting and when they did participate in getting the responses back and the gratitude back from being helped.
Patrick O’Keefe: I want to talk about the Gratitude Index a little bit. If someone wants to put one together, I know there’s different ways to measure sentiment, but is it simply pulling messages in response to answers that you provide and then measuring the words in them, the sentiment of those words? How did you piece it together?
Bill Johnston: It was really bare bones. Whereas at Dell, we had massive budgets and access to basically any technology that we wanted, plus access to some of the smartest people in the world quantifying social metrics, et cetera, et cetera, Autodesk was more bare bones in this department.
Quite simply, we were looking at the responses, and for the first two or three months, it was very manual. Then the team started to figure out how to automate and classify using words and patterns that emerged in a consistent way, if that makes sense. It wasn’t just “Thanks” or a smiley face. It became phrases like “You saved …” or “That’s what I was looking for.” It became phrases as well as words. It was still fairly low-fi, but created an amazing story.
Patrick O’Keefe: It sounds like there might be some sort of a command center where people are viewing tweets or viewing messages and responding and then have the ability to classify messages based upon the content. Is that somewhat close or is that-
Bill Johnston: The classification, eventually it happened mostly automatically. There wasn’t really a command center. It was more of a posse center or a pit, if you will. There weren’t a ton of people sitting around staring up at eight gigantic screens.
Patrick O’Keefe: Right, right. I guess what I mean is I didn’t think you were logging on at Twitter.com and refreshing, I guess is what I was getting at.
Bill Johnston: To break it down, we were using Radian6 at the time and experimenting with other tools like Lithium’s social workbench, whose name I always forget, sorry, Joe and team, but we were using workbench tools. It wasn’t just pulling raw Twitter.
Patrick O’Keefe: When you say that you’re passionate about taking a new approach to community-building by looking at the opportunity through the lens of a market network, what does that look like? How does that happen?
Bill Johnston: Admittedly, that sounds somewhat jargony, and I think anytime you’re talking about edge stuff, you try on a lot of different words. The last year for me after starting Structure3C frankly has been trying on a lot of stuff. I do that unapologetically, but in the spirit of trying to ultimately be helpful to myself and others.
This concept of market network gets to what I was talking about with your question about Autodesk, which is, how do you think about the whole, and in this case the whole network, and start to frame it up in meaningful ways to build stuff and create value vis-a-vis community?
Market network, for any brand or company, you have this implicit and likely latent network, customers, partners, prospects, divided to infinity and ad nauseum, but that’s really cool. I think that’s a really interesting playing field.
If you look at community and social and the edgier stuff, which is not exactly social but not as intimate as community, which I’ve generically glommed on to the notion of crowd again, if you look at this framework of crowd, community and collaborative organizations as your biggest frame and think about a market as, say, I don’t know, 10 million people globally, you can start to design social community and crowd experiences for the meaningful segments of that market to form around and engage with.
Once you start to sketch in that way, you start to have interesting conversations about what other players are needed or could add value in the ecosystem, so specific, for instance. I think in most any organization today, it would be really hard to have a conversation about building a customer community that’s not based upon support or sales in some fashion.
Further, of that subset of people that made it through the gauntlet, from my previous statement, next is I think it would be damn near impossible to find more than a handful of organizations willing to partner with complementary organizations to build a community around a topic, but we’re entering an age where that’s not only possible but necessary.
One of the most interesting things that I’ve seen this year and that I’ve been admittedly a small part of is, Gina Bianchini, who is famous for Ning among other things, launched a small company called Mightybell I think last year. She is working with a client of mine into it to build something called OWN IT, which is a network for small businesses.
This straddles community and the price of social networking that we like. I think you’re going to start to see a lot more experiments and initiatives that produce value that are either partnerships amongst complementary companies around a specific topic of interest or passion, which we haven’t seen a lot of successful examples of that, although I would be floored in a very positive way if proven wrong on that, and/or we’re going to see a lot more brand-neutral communities emerging where there may be a partnership but it may be behind the scenes in that you’re seeing more topical communities that are patronized, if you will, by companies in the industry or lead users.
Even Hackster, going back to Hackster, I think that’s an example of an independent community that’s becoming well-funded by large companies because they love what’s happening with the passion and interest around open source hardware.
I think we’re on the cusp of some really cool stuff happening with communities that goes beyond discussion and knowledge exchange, which will forever be important, so please don’t take it that I’m saying that’s wrong or old-fashioned. In fact, nothing irritates me more than when people say that, but I think we’re going to start to see a lot more depth of community interactivity around three-dimensional spaces.
Everybody’s hyperventilating about virtual reality, maybe, but the stuff that I was working on at Autodesk and that they continue to work on around allowing for multiple people to collaborate over time on projects in 3D via webtop, that forms community over time and this deep collaboration.
It’s almost like breaking the third wall, if you will, of community, where the vocabulary of interaction is going to expand in I think a mind-bogglingly cool way and in cool directions over the next couple of years, so yeah, I’m happy to follow up on any of that.
Patrick O’Keefe: Sticking with that and network communities, the idea that networks and communities need to partner for long-term health and relevance, you sum this up, before we spoke on the call today, by saying that, quote, “Most brand communities are dead or dying.” I’m sure that that’ll be news to them, but I wanted to ask you, what did you mean by that?
Bill Johnston: One really radical statement that keeps getting overlooked is the fact that many organizations are in a slow and painful decline. There’s a really cool Innosight report called Creative Destruction Whips Through Corporate America. I think it was published in 2013.
The premise of the report was basically look at the S&P 500 from 1960 to today and then project the turn in that index out over the next 20 or 30 years, and 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027, so there’s massive churn just organizationally. Communities are a reflection of their host. They’re a reflection of their patron, and the values, interactions, funding, et cetera, it’s all imbued into the community. The stage is set for a massive churn.
There are a couple other things. At Dell, I was part of one of their first social centers of excellence, one of the first big well-funded, very visible social centers of excellence. The jury is still out, the post-mortem is still out on how successful that approach was.
Patrick O’Keefe: What’s the social center of excellence, for anyone who might not know?
Bill Johnston: The model was essentially pulling all of the social and community functions together in a centralized, cross-functional team where you’re essentially docked into the organization that you’re being paid by, be it marketing, support, et cetera, but then you’re also part of a meta team that’s establishing strategy, governance and operations for social business within an organization globally.
Patrick O’Keefe: Got it.
Bill Johnston: There were 15 of us reporting to AVP at Dell, all directors, who were essentially accountable to an executive cross-functional team and we were charged with defining strategy, defining programs, defining policy, and then implementing vis-a-vis training execution of platform build-outs, budget around content creation and social promotion, et cetera.
That model, at Dell we pushed it really hard. There are many companies that have pushed it really hard or are in some cases continuing to do so. Mark Hilton, who left SAP, and I think he wound up at Intel, if I’m not mistaken, he continues to lead that model, but it didn’t get adopted at scale. You’re still having these debates internal to large organizations about where community lives, where social lives, how it all interacts, who’s paying for it.
You look at the churn rate for a community manager or professional and it’s really hard to find somebody in the industry who’s been in the same position for three years, and in some cases two years. You have organizational churn on strategy and operations, et cetera. The fact is, social and community don’t have a clear home.
You have professional churn, then you have the customer impact of that professional churn where ideally you have customers for life, but their interfaces into the company via community are changing pretty regularly, and I think most any community professional has felt that pain before where a community manager is turned over, et cetera.
It still feels like there’s a lack of maturity to the approach. There’s a lack of a solid model to the approach. There are organizations within the industry that purport to study, convene and normalize all of these best practices and be lighthouses to best practice and how you essentially deploy and run this stuff, and it’s amazing to me how fractured the leadership of the industry still is in this case. All of those signs, they’re not encouraging to me.
Patrick O’Keefe: It sounds like to me what you’re saying is that there’s a lifecycle to companies. Historically, there’s a lifecycle of companies churning in and out not only of the S&P 500 but just of existence, and one of the ways to extend, prolong, maybe even who knows for how long, the life of that company is to look outside of your own community to the wider, larger network. Is that a fair way to describe it?
Bill Johnston: I just painted a doomsday scenario and probably pissed a ton of people off with indictments about varying degrees of leadership and quality. With that said, there are tons of things to get excited about. The Creative Destruction report that talk about all the companies falling out of the S&P 500, another report last year from Deloitte actually found that, looking at almost that exact same data, they classified companies within the S&P 500 in one of four categories: asset builder, service provider, technology creator and network orchestrator.
Network orchestrator, being somebody who has network as a key part of their business, be it Visa, which is a payment network, or Red Hat, which is a network of open source developers and partners creating software, and they found that network orchestrators outperformed across the board every other category. They were more healthy, they were more valuable, they created more valuable, they were more profitable. By almost any measure, they were doing well.
I think there is still a need for companies to continue this evolution into a network business, a network business model. We have data now that shows that it’s actually a reasonable and healthy thing to do. We, as a corollary, need to continue to refine the operational and organizational models that support that more network approach, and I don’t think we’re quite there yet.
There continues to be tons of opportunity to continue to share best practices, but most importantly, to document across the board in a I think more collaborative way amongst the different organizations studying, quantifying and recommending so that we’re all marching towards the same place, we’re all following the same north star.
I guess that’s what I was trying to say with the different research and community of community manager organizations is it’s still amazing to me, the implicit and explicit firewalls between them when we’re, at the end of the day, all just trying to get the same stuff done.
Patrick O’Keefe: Bill, it’s been a pleasure.
Bill Johnston: Thanks, Patrick.
Patrick O’Keefe: Where can people find you online?
Bill Johnston: They can find me at Structure3C, the number 3 and the letter C, .com, or @billjohnston on Twitter.
Patrick O’Keefe: Thank you for joining me!
Bill Johnston: Thank you for having me, Patrick. It’s been a pleasure and good luck with the podcast series.
Patrick O’Keefe: I appreciate it. The first episode of Community Signal is in the books, and I hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear your feedback via the show’s website at CommunitySignal.com. You can also find podcasts, subscription options and more.
Community Signal is produced by Karn Broad. I’m Patrick O’Keefe, and I’ll see you next week!
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share, please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email or a tweet. If you enjoyed it, we would be grateful if you shared it with others.
Thank you for listening to Community Signal.
Patrick, thanks again for having me as your first guest on the Community Signal podcast. One thing I need to add – the Online Community Unconference (2007) wasn’t the first online community conference.
VirCon had been going on for year, and Jim Cashel and Joe Cothrel had been producing the Online Community Summit for several years in Sonoma (which is how I wound up working for Jim and living in Sonoma). Aaron Strout also produced the Community 2.0 conference in 2007.
There has been lots of conference activity around communities over the years. I’ve produced and hosted my share, but I can’t claim to be the first here.
Thanks for adding that, Bill. We have to put together some sort of anthology and document our history!