Patrick Groome

Patrick Groome


Patrick is the content and community manager at Vanilla Forums. He's been building and running thriving communities for over a decade.

How to Cope With Legal Threats in Your Community

(Note: This is not being written by a lawyer and does not constitute legal advice. Seeking professional advice on legal matters is always advised)

“You’ll be hearing from my lawyer” “I’ll sue you!” “I think you should be consulting your lawyer about now!” Have you heard any of these yet? You will. It’s the battle cry of the losing party in disputes all over the internet. Legal threats are a common weapon used in an attempt to intimidate and bully people into doing what the threatener demands.

The reason this is so popular is simple: it often works. Most of us have no real knowledge of the law and have no idea what does or does not constitute a breach of it. When someone else seems confident of their knowledge, it’s easy to assume that they know what they’re talking about when we don’t. Depending on the situation, capitulation can simply seem like a simple solution to a stressful situation.

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Customer Experience = Control for Your Customers

-Customer Experience = Control for Your Customers- (1)How was your weekend? Good, I hope. I had a pretty good one too, until a snag in my operating system left me unable to play any of my purchased videos. Since a weekend without Star Wars is unacceptable, I turned to the internet for help. The ultimate nightmare scenario unfolded: a question with no answer online aside from “contact our customer support line. It took 3 representatives a total of four hours to tell me that my problem was unsolvable and to give me a second number to call for a refund. As yet, I’ve not had the mental fortitude to try it.

The real problem here isn’t the error, or that it couldn’t be fixed. It’s that I was out of control for the entire experience. I couldn’t choose when to engage, and had to sit on the line while the poor rep tried desperately to figure out what the problem could be. This reached the point of parody when they were forced to remotely operate my computer to try and discover the problem. There’s nothing like seeing your mouse move of its own accord to reinforce the lack of control you have as a customer.

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Three Things I Learned From the #myCMGR Hangout

3 Things I Learned From the #myCMGR Hangout

I was recently fortunate enough to take part in the #cmgrhangout operated by The topic under discussion was the recent release of The Community Manager’s Survival Guide. It was a great opportunity to talk with with a variety of experienced community managers about the issues presented. Here are a few of the things that I learned from the experience:

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Nominate Someone for Community Manager Appreciation Day!

Community Manager Appreciation Day

FACT: Community managers are awesome.

I should know, I am one. I’m also lucky enough to work with and meet community managers from all over the world. They’re one of the most motivated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable groups that you could ever hope to meet. Community managers are constantly sharing best practices, anecdotes and new data to help each other build and maintain great communities worldwide.

Community Manager Appreciation Day is a way for you to show your community manager how much you care. If you’re part of a great community running on a Vanilla Forum, you can nominate your community manager here and let them know how much you care. We’ll be doing a profile and interview for the winner, and giving them a shiny trophy to show off to all their friends.

Before you ask, I am unfortunately not eligible for nomination. We would have been too deluged, so we had to cut it off completely. I’m sure you understand.