One of the Best Parts of Community Management

Anyone who’s run an online community knows how tricky adoption can be.

There isn’t a “Build it and they will come” mentality anymore. It’s more, “What’s in it for us?”


In fact, I hear it’s a lot like herding cats. From

And when people do start using that space (ah, that first person who joins, bless them!), you find that all your outlines and plans for the community can default to how your users actually want to use it.

When these two things align, that’s awesome.

Using the Yammer platform, I built what’s called an External Network to act as a professional learning network for our customers to extend their training and skills 24/7.

We have over 29,000 customers who use our training. I’ve made their community strictly opt-in; it’ll be awhile before all of them join! But when they do, they’ll find people who do what they do every day, even if they’re time zones away.

The other day, I came in to a post that stopped me in my tracks.

Here’s what makes all the planning, stressing, and late-nighting worth it.

A customer wrote: “New to Yammer, just saying hello!”

And one of the responses was this:

“Welcome aboard! This is THE place to get and provide help.”

That right there put a smile on my face.

For that was my goal all along: Providing the tools for people to get what they need so they can do what they need to do.


I call this phenomenon the Miracle on 34th Street.

What community management moments have made you smile?

To Respond or Not to Respond: The LinkedIn Introduction Question

In the job seeker world, you hear a lot about “paying it forward,” a great form of networking that seems to happen organically once people start interacting with others in the same boat, or with those trying to help them get off that boat. As Joey (@PushJobs) from Push Consultant Group says: Knowledge is to be shared!


LinkedIn provides an easy way to spread some of that karmic Kool-Aid and, by proxy, that career-helpful knowledge: LinkedIn Introductions.

Sometimes something as simple as introducing one of your connections to another one of your connections can move that person one step closer to a job. Great, right?

But it’s one thing when you’re the one initiating the introduction because you think Person A and Person B need to get connected. Do the rules change if you’re the one being asked to do the introducing?

When you get that request, what makes you respond positively? What turns you off? Do you feel protective over your connections, or feel that people can take care of themselves?