SxSwi09: Building Strong Online Communities


  • Ken Fisher – Ars Technica
  • Alexis Ohanian –
  • Drew Curtis –
  • Erin Kotecki Vest – BlogHer Inc


  • Balance what you want versus what community wants by listing to community circle, use intuition, let users have tools to make changes on their own, act on feedback.
  • Be wary of tyranny of organized minorities.
  • Have and enforce detailed guidelines with a firm community manager.
  • A “nark” function puts policing power on community.
  • Trolling is a constant arms race.
  • Communities fail when: tell-rather than ask, don’t let people know about change in advance, trolling own users, don’t listen to community.
  • Share results of solicited feedback.
  • Anonymity is no longer acceptable.
  • have more impact by putting your community and evangelists to work.
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