Brian Ambrozy

Recent Posts

Welcoming New Members to an Established Community

Posted by Brian Ambrozy on Feb 1, 2013 12:22:16 PM

3 minute read

Older, more established communities can have their own unique set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges for the community manager of a large, established online community is to overcome the feel of the "old boys' club" and to make sure new members don't feel excluded.

When a community has been around a long time, it has its own culture, its own stories and lore, and its own inside jokes. New people already have a daunting enough challenge just learning the ropes, but when they see nothing but a bunch of people who know each other, and who refer to things they have no connection with, and tell stories that they weren't there for, it can feel the same as walking into a biker bar in a small town; the record screeches to a halt and everyone turns to look at you as you stand in the doorway.

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Topics: Community

Getting users to come back to your online community, it's the little things that matter

Posted by Brian Ambrozy on Jan 16, 2013 9:50:27 AM

2 minute read

One thing to keep in mind is that having a forum is just one of the first steps in launching a successful community. As I mentioned a while back, just building it doesn't mean people will show up.

Maybe the single biggest challenge in community building is keeping a new user after they've visited or posted once. You have to put yourself in the shoes of a new member: They got excited enough to register, to create an account, and maybe even to post—but then they disappeared. Why is that? As a community manager, you need to ask yourself some hard questions about what kind of experience a new person has on your site. Take a look at your category structure and ask yourself, "Does this make sense from a new user standpoint"? If you were a brand new user, where would you go? Would you be overwhelmed?

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Topics: Community, Marketing

I'm taking my ball and going home!

Posted by Brian Ambrozy on Dec 24, 2012 9:30:25 AM

4 minute read

Online communities deal with a lot of varied personality types. In my ten years of running online communities, from large to small, I've seen 'em all. As online communities grow and add members, there are bound to be all kinds of conflicts. Luckily, most of these are minor and are usually reserved for things like interface changes or "moved my cheese" issues, but sometimes they can escalate into full-blown "I am quitting this site!" rants. Yes, that's right... the dreaded public "I quit!". 

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Topics: Community

If you build it, they might come, but then what?

Posted by Brian Ambrozy on Dec 17, 2012 1:50:13 PM

2 minute read

It used to be quite a challenge to build an online community from scratch. The technical side of things was daunting, and there were many barriers to entry. Of course, most of those technical challenges have been eliminated (or made significantly easier) with things like graphical installs, modern user interfaces, and no need to worry about complicated database and software configuration—but there's still one big challenge that may never go away: what happens after you get your online community software up and running? 

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Topics: Community, Marketing

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