Saturday, March 8, 2008

SXSW: Managing Online Communities

Panel discussion of online community managers focused on how they managed communities, issues of privacy, rules and conduct, how much do you monitor and edit posts.

  • Regarding issue of pre-screening posts, none screened and filtered prior to posts going live (other than screening for obscenities). Yes there are risks but members are usually so involved in these online communities that they police themselves and filter out the offenders. Also, people will complain if you monitor too much. Of course, for Pharma there is always the issue of AEs and off-label usage so they must be closely monitored.

  • How do you get internal buy-in and involvement? You have to get buy-in at highest level to be successful but make it easy for upper mgt to get involved. Ask CEO to spend 10 min a week to post comments rather than writing a weekly blog that is more time consuming or will most likely be written by PR dept.

  • How do youy manage risks? If your goal is to have zero risk you shouldn't be doing this. Your goal should be to reduce risk as much as possible while delivering as much return as possible. Go to your legal team with all the potential risks and solutions for dealing with them.

  • Every online community should have a mission statement and constantly recheck and revise to make sure your community stays focused.

That's it for now, will try to add more later. Look for more on using the back of the napkin to solve problems.

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