EdChats – Online Communities

YammerAny time we hear large numbers of educators praising a product or service the first thing we do is check to see if the company has a Community Manager…and they usually do.

We feel there is a correlation here not just because the organisation has a Community Manager whose job is to listen to their users, but because the company has the kind of culture that means they are willing to pay someone to listen to their users needs: The Culture of Community and Product-Market Fit.

These are the kind of organisations we’d like to be involved with, but with not much experience with community management we’ve applied principles from resources like #Cmgrhangout and Buzzing Communities.Top 10 Cmgr Hangouts

Many of the projects that we have worked on recently have involved some elements of community management. Some have also combined my fledgling #Cmgr skills with my sales experience and research.

Sales & Community Management

#UKFEChat: I noticed Sarah Simons and Hilary Nunns had established #UKFEChat, but the number of participants attending the chat was low, so we offered to pitch in and get some sales/cmgr action going on to see if we could rustle up more of a crowd.

UKFEChat about

#EdTechBridge: Through joining EdChats and seeing educators promote the tools they liked better than any sales team ever could, we felt there was a need for suppliers to collaborate to share their experiences and discuss best practice. We threw out the idea of #StartupEduChat and discussed the concept with educators and suppliers.

StartupEduChat Tweet

When we heard about Steve Isaac and Katya Hott’s SXSWEdu presentation about EdTechBridge and their mission we helped out where we could to support them with the development of their chat

“The #EdTechBridge Mission is to build an authentic community of EdTech Entrepreneurs (developers) and teachers with the ultimate goal of working together to create great EdTech products that will ultimately benefit students and move education forward”

We have collaborated on a number of projects since the chat was established.

EdChat Moderators
EdChatMod Pic 
We were keen to share what we were learning from these experienced Community Managers with our Twitter chat moderator connections so established an EdChat Moderator forum on Google+ where we share ideas and resources.

If you are an EdChat Moderator and would like to join this community please let me know. Please also find some of the best Community Management resources we’ve found in these collections: Cmgr Resources and Buzzing Communities.

“Strategy is, by far, the most important and most high value work. People who strategize well combine profound understanding of community development with advanced project management skills. They’re rare and invaluable” Richard Millington, FeverBee Founder in Buzzing Communities

Technology Adoption & Community Management
While my Community Management experience is very much still in development, we are finding our experiences with community management and research into technology sales research are an interesting combination.

6 Ideas to Help Moderators Grow their EdChat
EdChats have developed a lot over the last few years and appears to have moved from the early market and could be set to “Cross the Chasm” to be a recognised as formal professional development for educators.

We suggested six sales principles that moderators could employ to help them grow their chats in this post: EdChats…Getting Competitive. Some moderators were interested in these ideas and asked if we could expand on them and produced this strategy document: 6 Ways to Grow your EdChat.

Politics
We were fascinated with the Scottish Independence Referendum and the General Election as we recognised some of the principles that were in play that led to the SNP’s domination in Scotland. On the eve of the election we detailed some “Freakonomic Politics” by suggesting how and Why SNP Domination was Inevitable.

It may be difficult to assess how accurate these insights and assertions are… But if anyone does feel they have merit, we also have some ideas on what we would do if we were a political candidate or involved their campaign.