Adrian Speyer

Adrian Speyer is the Head of Community and Lead Evangelist for Vanilla Forums. Besides spending many years in digital marketing, Adrian has been building communities of all sizes for over 20 years.
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Recent Posts

Are you building your community with the most valuable people in mind?

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Jan 21, 2020 10:00:00 AM

5 minute read

Great communities exist because of the amazing people involved. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Nonetheless, as departments and companies plan communities or they make decisions related to their online spaces, they tend to forget it's about people. I think part of the problem is we replace the word people when we talk about community, and use terms like members, users, or even super users. By using this terminology, it can be easy to forget the people factor. It’s very similar how in some corners project managers talk about “a resource”, when they really mean a person.

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Topics: Community

KPIs, Analytics and Data: Making Sense of the Numbers

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Jan 16, 2020 11:00:00 AM

8 minute read

When a community fails, more often than not, it’s because there’s no perceived value to the company. Your boss may one day ask you “what’s the value that this community brings to the organization—why do we even have a community?” Unfortunately, if you aren’t prepared and don’t have quantifiable results that clearly reflect the value of your community, you may soon end up forced to close the community or worse, without a job.

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Topics: Community

Do you have an Audience or an Authentic Community?

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Jan 14, 2020 8:00:00 AM

5 minute read

While these terms are often used interchangeably, there’s a difference between simply having an audience and having a community. There was perhaps a time before when these two terms were blurred, but over the past couple of years people have been throwing out the term “community,” at just about anything it’ll stick to—and it’s clearly wrong. In other words, people have been using the term community incorrectly by identifying a simple audience or following and deeming it to be a community, when really, it’s not. 

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Topics: Community

Why You Need to be Present as a Community Manager

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Jan 9, 2020 10:00:00 AM

4 minute read

There’s a difference between simply being a Community Manager, and being a present Community Manager. Being present means being hyper involved. It means paying attention to new community members as well as old ones and pushing out new content to keep the community fresh and engaged. It’s also a crucial step in the development of a new online community (and less so for those that are more mature).

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Topics: Community

Should You Enable Downvoting in Your Community?

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Sep 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

3 minute read

I was recently reading about Facebook testing downvotes on their comments. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s reacted by calling it “flattery”. Some people may not know this, but Vanilla has had a downvote feature since 2012 — it’s part of our reaction system. Even though this is an option (because we believe community owners should have choice), we don’t recommend the use of these “negative” reactions for most communities.

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Topics: Community

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