Managing Your Community Ecosystem

Digg and Salesforce at OCBF2009

Digg and Salesforce at OCBF2009

The second session of Forum One’s Online Community Business Forum covered community ecosystems with Jen Burton from Digg and Erica Kuhl from Salesforce.com.

Jen started with the comment that “it’s impossible to manage the ecosystem” when the community spans domain and geographic boundaries.  For example, Digg’s ecosystem includes the Digg website, mainstream media, social media, blogs, Facebook and Twitter.  The challenge is to monitor conversations about your brand across all of these channels.  Jen takes a structured approach to monitoring conversations that include taking a high level view, determining how to react adn respond and then communicating the health of the community to executive management.  

In summary, Jen noted that it is important to:

  • define the ecosystem but be open to change
  • provide tools for members to communicate with each other
  • monitor conversations without moderating
  • accept that swells and uprisings will occur
  • don’t forget to keep an eye out for the good times

Erica Kuhl described a similar ecosystem for Salesforce.com and noted that it is important to go where the conversations are which include official and unofficial pages on Facebook and groups in LinkedIn.  Salesforce.com also gets immediate feedback and page-specific feedback using Opinion Lab.  Additional feedback comes from discussions boards (1350 posts per month) and Idea Exchange which has received more than 10,000 ideas and 230,000 votes since it was launched.  Erica is the primary author on one of the 16 Salesforce.com blogs.  Finally, user groups are still very important to Salesforce and there are currently 85 user groups with 13,000 active members that conduct more than 60 meetings per quarter.

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