Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Matt Haughey’s guidebook for Online Community Managers

Matt Haughey founded the popular community weblog Metafilter in 1999, much before Digg and Reddit happened.

Here is a summary of Matt's originally 7 tips on how to run an online community.
The first tip is actually a part of the preface where Matt says he hates the term User Generated Content.
How? Read on.

1. Don’ use the term User Generated Content: Makes members of your community feel like dutiful robots.

2. Rational not emotional: Avoid getting carried away while dealing with the day-to-day happenings at a typical community: trolls, copycats, useless emails, or someone claiming to own your site. Take your time and be rational about it.

3. Talk like a human: Be the best member of your site. Talk in common man’s language even when you are using your Terms of Service for reference.

4. Offer users an easy-to-modify profiles page where users can store their usage history (100 submitted stories, 120 commented, and so on), and make friends with others, sharing profiles.

5. A section/forum dedicated to discussing the community itself. Matt points out that if Digg had this feature, they would have avoided the ‘revolt’ over HD DVD code brouhaha. Kevin Rose might have put his quandary about legal issue in this section, users would have rated and commented upon it and then a decision might have reached at collectively.

6. Full-time moderator

7. 'Flag this post' and 'Favorites 'feature: This is much like Blogger’s 'Flag this blog' feature and helps you use members to moderate your community. The Flag This post must capture essential data such as who flagged it, when, who write it and so on. Having a Digg-Spy like dynamic list of recently flagged posts is a smart idea.

On the other hand, the Favorite feature is common on many social sites.

8. Nuanced, flexible guidelines instead of hard and fast rules: Matt’s approach is to come up with lists such as "ways to be a worthwhile member of this community" and "things you probably shouldn't do" and then explains the approach when needed.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home