The virtual gifts may work for kids and some adults, but overall the biggest takeawy form this panel is that you MUST engage, be transparent with your community and provide postive reinforcement to those who are providing feedback and high quality content.
Ahh, community management, engagement, and benefits. This panel reminded me of the good ol' days managing the LA Yelp community. There is much to learn about people through the worldwide interwebs. The biggest realization is that people can be really MEAN online. They don't quite have the balls to be mean to your face, but online - Oh, it's ON!
So how do you keep your community engaged, manage them as a whole and take the constructive (and often not-so-constructive) feedback of your community? With a grain of salt. This panel was a discussion between Foursquare, Paypal, and other executives in the Internet industry with experience in developing, marketing and community management. What happens when the comm starts answering those questions in a way you don't like? McClure was a good moderator, asked questions like:
Response: Don't get defensive, be good listeners. Example) Feedback says 'Competitor X is doing A&B better than you guys.' If there isn't competition, how do we expect to push boundaries and make the product better? Wayne Sutton's response would be something like, '
Takeaway: Good feedback includes both positive and negative. Things that the community say matter no matter the tone.
Response: Rev share programs. Sponsorships: Naveen (from PayPal?) gave a really interesting example of asking a community (a power user) to attend a conference on your behalf when no one from you company is able, which I thought was an excellent way to engage and give your member a little special treatment that in the end, benefits all parties. This is an excellent example of building lasting relationships with the people who make your site look good.
In my humble opinion, there will always be retaliation when the community sees others getting special treatment. So bottom line is - Be fair, don't be subjective. Treat the group as equals no matter what and you will have a thriving community. Special programs in place to recognize certain members are inevitable, but ultimately the community should decide and recognize the top contributors who provide the most value on their own. To quote my grandma "The proof is in the pudding."
Engaging kids and users under 18 was as simple as "Virtual Gifts!"
Best / Worst Quotes
"Competior X does A & B much better than you guys"
What wasn't said that should have been?
That you could review this panel on the SXSW Community on Lunch #LunchSXSW.
SXSW Community on Lunch Founder, Thomas Knoll! ;)
If this were my event....
I would have provided the hashtag #LunchSXSW for a chance to review this panel and provide YOUR feedback and biggest takeaways (plug plug). And, I would have handed out cookies.
What did you think of this review?