Friday, April 29, 2011

The Emerging Role of the Community Manager #astdl20

This are my live blogged notes from a session at ASTD Learning 2.0. 

The Emerging Role of the Community Manager with Jim Storer (@jimstorer) of The Community Roundtable

Community = shared purpose, common needs

Even if you think you’re doing something in private, it is discoverable  and you could be outed.

DMs on Twitter? Ultimately not that private…

Community Manager: Internal evangelizing is a full time job – people who are community managers and doing brown bag lunches, getting people on board – needs to be someone who’s good at getting in front of a group, someone who’s good at experimenting

A Community Manager is a relationship manager.  It’s not about the tools

Responsibilities of a Community Manager:

  • Don’t have a build it they will come mentality.  You need to figure out ways to create engagement.
  • Don’t shut down conflict.  Conflict is passion.  Good community managers know how to channel that.
  • Protect the community (don’t let sales sell to your community)
  • Celebrate success – even small success.
  • Take pictures of Tweets and share them with the exec team.
  • Understand the tools. (but you don’t need to be technical)

Visible Tasks of the CM:

  • managing content
  • manage events
  • welcome new members
  • participate judiciously – as the CM don’t be the first one to post.

Behind the scenes tasks:

  • Taking issues offline
  • building relationship with key members

The ghost town…

Community launches with lots of content but no management.  There’s no interaction.

Need to make sure people are getting value out of it.

SharePoint and other tools make it so easy to create groups…so now too many groups with not enough focus.  Need to make people aware of what it takes to create engagement in a community. End up with tiny stalks of information buried deep.

Drama central

When someone takes over a community. Rules of engagement needed to clearly articulate what the space is for.  If people go off the rails, then you can pull it back in…


Make sure a clique doesn’t establish.  Makes it hard for other people to be a part of the community – otherwise you keep other people at bay.

What makes a good community manager?

  • Ability to match a brand’s personality
  • Good communicator – willing to take hits
  • Nudges people along
  • Passionate, but tempered enthusiasm
  • Generally the emerge from within the org – they have the passion already
  • Relationship building/conflict resolution
  • Self-awareness
  • Be able to articulate how what they’re doing ties to corporate goals and initiatives

Listen.  Don’t jump in right away. Read the tea leaves. Do some back channeling through private messages.

Your most valuable tool: a phone.  To actually call people on.

Keep a regular schedule.  Do programming – office hours – topical conference calls and webinars.  This gets people back and participating on a regular basis.

Be multi-modal. Snackable content that can be quickly digested (blog posts that are 200 words and not 2,000 words).

Be valuable. Help connect people. Make this a place people want to come back to.

Be notable.  Create unique experiences they can’t get elsewhere.

Bring catnip. Make it rewarding.  (encourage in public, chastise in private).

Have rules. Everyone needs to understand the rules.  If people are posting against the rules and is counter to the goals of the comm, make sure they understand that’s not accepted.

Encourage your cheeseheads. These are your fans.  They don’t have to be members of your comm, but they spread your content on the web. They are valuable to you - -celebrate them and let them know you appreciate them.

Ride the waves. If you see a community forming offline, help them do it online.

Don’t ignore. It can turn into a ghost town pretty quickly. Make it part of someone’s job and that they have passion about it and they’re in there.

Protect the fish. Protect community members from the sharks.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the audience – who’s your community member?
  • Identify the desired business outcome is
  • Build thick value…you’re a part of something and this is valuable. Want to create long term engagement.
  • Understand the role and value of CM


Social business becomes a strategic imperative.

Interest in CM has increased.

The CM discipline is evolving

Confusion remains…


  • get all the people who need to be at the table there – get positive multiple voices on your side to overcome company culture
  • be prepared to let the outside in
  • ask for the truth, even if it hurts. Companies need to be truthful with themselves – who you are as a company with social will rear it’s head

Policies & Governance

  • policies are the legalese; guidelines are how you want people to behave (guidelines are firmly rebooted to your goals)


  • Don’t feel like you have to use every SoMe tool or channel
  • There’s not one tool that’s go it all.

“Community does not grow in a sandbox; you need to build a garden.”

When being helpful is not helpful…

  • As a CM, it’s important to pause and let people jump in

Create content that fills gaps. Snackability. Create other versions of content in a way that makes it easy for other people to consume. 

If you send execs pictures of good customer interactions (screen shots).

People talk about the ROI…but what’s the ROI of a billboard? Elevating your brand in an offline space is priceless.

State of Community Management 2011

(last year put the report up and had to register -  30,000 hits over the year.  This year went commando and didn’t do a reg page - -and 22,000 hits in 6 weeks.)

Blogging Live from #ASTDL20

Hi everyone! I'm blogging live from today's session to show how easy is to blog.

Tony Bingham #ASTDL20 keynote

Today I’m at ASTD’s New England Regional Conference: Learning 2.0 Don’t get left behind in lovely Westford, MA.

These are my live blogged notes from the opening keynote with Tony Bingham, CEO and President of ASTD.


Conference Board research

  • from 2009: CEO challenges “how do we stay afloat?”
  • 2010: “excellence in execution” and “how do we grow the business”

IBM Study: Capitalizing on Complexity (interviews of thousands of CEOs)

Common themes of study:

  • global integration (can’t just take US learning solutions and plop them into another country)
  • global climate chain
  • talent

“events, threats and opportunities…are less predictable” – Samuel Palmisano, IBM CEO – We need to be able to think through complex issues.

IBM Global Student study 2010 IBM Study: inheriting a complex word

“Tomorrows leaders will be markedly different than previous generations.”

There will be less uncertainty but more volatility

The ability to dig in data and effectively mine it will make decision making different.

Students are interested in concept of global citizenship

Jim Hackett of Steelcase – on building a new learning center:

How do you rationalize investing in a learning center when you’re cutting 50% of staff? Because learning is the center of strategy.

Tom Peters says selling is ultimately about getting engaged in your prospect’s culture – it’s about training.

McDonalds Stock prices have been on a steady rise above the S&P since they chose to invest hugely in learning and development.

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi

  • “Performance with purpose” – concerned with human/environmental/talent sustainability
  • “The difference between success and failure is talent, period.”

Robert Niblock, Lowes – employee engagement is critical – engagement is as important as knowledge

Most CEOs say that they feel the cuts that they made and we’re still doing ok.  We won’t go back to the way it was.

Mercer it’s beyond competencies – the difference in individuals with same competencies are education, experience, exposure

Every CEO has a different focus area (creativity, perofrmance, innovation, engagement, strategy, etc)

Ask yourself: is your organization’s learning strategy aligned to what’s more important to your organization?

(Ask: what’s most important to your org and how do I know it? As a trainer, how do you support that?)

CEOs don’t care about Kirkpatrick level 1, 2, 3.  They want to know about business results.

The value of intangibles: People, intellectual property (comparing book value to market value – Starbuck 3.7 mil book value: 27.7 market value – the difference is in the intangibles.  That’s your people!

Will expenditures on learning & dev increase?

Social Media

Are your CEOS asking you what are you doing in formal/informal/social learning? (most of them aren’t asking those specifics).

CEOs want to talk about learning holistically – how do we focus on each of those channels?

The concept of learning as an event has changed.

What is informal learning? learning w/o an instructor

What % of learning in your org is informal?

How many orgs block Facebook? You can’t block Facebook on your phone!

Josh Bersin, “it’s not informal learning taking over everything…it’s a modernization of the learning function.”

The number of people worldwide using Facebook and Twitter: staggering.

If we don’t move on this stuff – we will be left behind.

We ARE getting smarter: raw IQ scores are jumping 3 points/decade since WWII

Young people think it’s cool to be smart.

We want to be managed as individuals not as a big group.


United Breaks Guitars: This is a groundswell – over 10,000,000 views as of today!  Now that’s marketing…

The groundswell is not a flash in a pan – it’s a different way for people to relate to companies and each other.

Google is worried that advertising won’t drive people’s buying decisions.  That instead FB will leverage personal recommendations on products.  Do you trust your friends or the ads?

People get what they need from each other instead of the traditional institutions.

Is Social Media a Fad? 

  • “It’s not whether we do social media, it’s how well we do it.”
  • “We will no longer search, products and services will find us via social media.”
  • “What happens in Vegas stays on Facebook…”

#1 reason for a lack of adoption of Social Media is a lack of understanding.

Jay Cross “connections are everything” – if you’re not designing connections into your learning program…

Social Media at Deloitte and Telus

Dan Pontefract at Telus – social learning is the parallel to social media – to create a culture of collaboration

How do you get started?

  1. Start slow and gain understanding
  2. Find an executive sponsor
  3. Identify a department that’s interested in it
  4. Partner with IT and compliance
  5. Use low cost software tools available today
  6. IMPACT vs. ROI
  7. Govern lightly

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Using Social Media for Learning: Tools & Practices #BHsocialmedia

These are my live blogged notes from a webinar presented by Brandon Hall on Wednesday, April 26 2011. (I joined about 10 minutes late, so missed a bit!)

Tom Werner, Chief Research Officer, Brandon Hall

LMSs are adding social features – including RSS feeds, peer ratings of content. In Brandon Hall’s research, haven’t talked to a single LMS vendor who is NOT adding these tools.

Social media allow:

  • Conversations to continue after training
  • Peer-to-peer interaction in groups – so learners can continue to learn
  • Find individualized answers (by approaching instructors and fellow learners)
  • Share your own content

Makes training more efficient

  • Can shorten formal training, because the conversation continues.
  • It’s now available on demand as it’s needed.
  • More content can be created by more contributors.
  • Can get more feedback about what’s working!

Social media can reach different audiences:

  • New employees and recently trained can now connect with each other
  • Expert employees who got missed by training – now have a way to contribute and can become mentors and coaches.
  • Social media communities can now create communities for external learners – customers, resellers, technicians.

Best practices of social media for learning: (these 3 examples one Brandon Hall Awards of Excellence):

Chrysler Academy 2.0

  • Doing more real time certification and performance support for dealer personnel.
  • Customers are now so knowledgeable about cars using the Internet.
  • Wanted to make learning “an everyday event”.
  • Draw knowledge from dealerships.
  • Used Ektron ( a content management system – which allowed search, tagging, RSS, links, blogs, polls, surveys.
  • Everyone has their own profile like they do on Facebook.
  • Reduced time to deliver info to dealers from 2 weeks to 1 day.
  • Reduced cost of new-vehicle launch kits from $100,000 to about $15,000.

Cisco Learning Network

  • Cisco wanted to support certifications around the world for technicians who service their networks.
  • Wanted to increase # cert holders worldwide – the network experts – wanted more resources and options.
  • Traditional one way web pages weren’t enough.
  • Wanted more collaboration and conversation, so people could access already certified people’s expertise.  Wanted to move away from certification as in individual pursuit.
  • Video, podcasts, discussion forums, games, mentoring programs (Partner new learners with those already certified).
  • Polls, blogs, search (similar to chrysler).
  • Measured results in terms of usage – 7 million site visits over 20 month period.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Sales Fitness Center

  • Sales professionals.
  • Wanted to minimize formal training to minimize time spent out of field.
  • Wanted to connect sales training with day-to-day selling (if sales people don’t immediately apply training to their real-world experiences, they tend to reject it quickly).
  • Create a safe place for people to ask their questions
  • Sales people could share their own content.
  • Used Microsoft SharePoint – blogs, wikis, messaging, polls, surveys, RSS feeds (get alerted when content is updated).
  • Want sales people talking about real-world sales experiences with their peers.
  • Saved $7,500 per learner (over formal training).
  • Survey findings (level 1 evals) showed positive reactions from the learners.

3 key take-aways from these case studies:

  • Don’t rely on “if they build it they will come” – still use some ‘push’ technolgoy – like email – to draw learners in so they start to see the value
  • They don’t obsess about measurement.  They try lots of things.
  • They don’t worry if not everyone loves it.  It’s not going to work for everyone.  Not every single tool needs 100% participation.

Ann Shea with Quick Lessons

Social media tools for learning

Risks and concerns:

Biggest challenges for orgs – benefits are not clear

To start using social media…don’t need to be as big as HP or Chrysler!

Tools that you bring in to your org.  What considerations?

  • Costs – both of tool and the opportunity cost
  • Look at terms of use and legal implications (who owns the content created in a site)
  • Does the site let you export your content?
  • Can you control access and create private groups?
  • Is it easy for learners to use? (Everyone’s familiar with Facebook – people wouldn’t have the same resistance to FB as with a new tool).
  • Are these tools being built into your LMS?


What can you do on your Intranet already? (e.g., SharePoint) – profiles, tags, ratings

Private social networks:

  • yammer (widely used in corporate world – over 100,00 corporate users!)
  • edmodo (originally  developed for teachers and schools – includes grading features
  • social go – sharing features, including video, blogging and works with Wordpress
  • allow microblogging, profiles, groups, messaging, questions, polls, tagging, search

Public social networks:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Ning
  • Yahoo Groups
  • Google groups
  • Some of these have member control and private groups


the most accessed site in 2010! 1/8 minutes online is spent on FB! Why companies consider blocking it, but should also be a place for companies to consider going…  40% of users are 35+ – the demographic has changed!)

Jane Bozarth! – Trainers can use FB to fill the gaps and keep learners engaged between formal events.

90% of facebook users don’t return to a fan page once the click the like button

The most popular types of content on FB:

  • image with text
  • image
  • video
  • text
  • external links (put actual link not a shortened link – people on FB want to know where they’re going.
  • polls
  • keep these in mind when you design…


a new linked in user every second!

A more business-oriented environment.  But it’s not as user friendly as FB.  Good for external training, partners, vendors.

Members only groups on LinkedIn for training – set up a private group (members have to request to join or be invited – and then approved by the manager)

Reminder – anything posted on the Internet can potentially be viewed by anyone…


Very real time oriented – the pulse of what people are talking about

Use hashtags # on topics and @ signs for people

Can share links, take online notes

File sharing for collaboration:

  • As trainers work to develop content – share with each other and share with users
  • Drobox, Google Docs,

Video Conferencing

  • Skype, ooVoo, Google Voice,Vuroom, Vonage
  • Good for more immediacy, for more expressive training, can do screen sharing
  • recording sessions so they can be shared later
  • Can also create user groups within a conference call so you can have chat

Presentation Sharing Sites

To share PPTs, PDFs, videos, etc.

  • SlideShare
  • Prezi, SlideSix, SlideRocket, mybrainshark

Online Polls & Surveys

Mix polls ad surveys with social media for more engagement and better material

  • LinkedIn
  • PollDaddy
  • SurveyMonkey
  • (Facebook has just added this to groups)

Video Sharing

  • Trainers can use video sharing sites to post videos…
  • demo a product, present lecture-type content, share tips, etc.
  • YouTube, Vimeo


Share text, images, hyperlinks

Social Media Policy

The list goes on…blogs, RSS feeds, whiteboarding, etc….

Product Pitch for Quicklessons

collaborative online course creation in the cloud

Lots of connection with facebook and Izzui– invite people to courses, share them, people can like them..”an entire social network surrounding your content” – it’s still in beta.  They will be at ASTD ICE in Orlando.  Izzui is SCORM compliant.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fri April 29: ASTD Conference “Learning 2.0 – Don’t get left behind” #ASTDL20

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, then you’re not so far behind as all that.

But if you’d like to hear from some industry notables on the topic of Learning 2.0, come to ASTD New England Area’s Regional 2011 Conference: Learning 2.0 – Don’t get left behind.

It’s this Friday in Westford, MA.

I’ll be speaking, giving a Cammy Bean style sightseeing tour of Social Media. You can also hear from the likes of Tony Bingham, Dave Wilkins, David Kelly and Gina Rosenthal.

Check it out:

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 6pm to 10 pm -- Pre-Conference Networking Reception and Twitter Chat (included in Conference fee)

Friday, April 29, 2011, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm -- Conference, including continental breakfast and lunch
Click to view Conference Schedule and Speaker Bios


Westford Regency Inn & Conference Center, 219 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886 The location is west of Boston, MA, exit 32 off of I-495, 25 minutes north of the Mass Pike (I-90). 978-692-8200. Check in time is 2 pm and check out time is 12:30 pm.

Conference Description:

The world of learning & development is changing fast. To help you keep up with these many changes, your ASTD New England Area local chapters have joined forces to bring you a very special event designed to share our resources, emerging experience and best thinking in a highly engaging, eye-opening conference.

Networking Reception:

On Thursday evening, April 28, 2011, 6:00 - 10:00, included in the conference registration fee for those that can join us, we will have a highly engaging Networking Reception, including cash bar, hot hors d'oeuvres, audio visual treats, speed networking and an opportunity to participate in a real-time Lrnchat on Twitter with international learning professionals (check out transcripts of previous sessions at
Be prepared for the conference by signing up for Twitter in advance at

Keynote Speaker:

On Friday, April 29, 2011, 8:30 - 10:00 am -- Tony Bingham, CEO and President of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals will be our keynote speaker.
Tony will share his insights into future training industry trends, including highlights from his latest groundbreaking book: The New Social Learning – A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media.

Morning Breakout sessions (Friday, April 29, 2011, 10:30 - 12:00 pm):

  • Sightseeing Social Media -- Overview: Cammy Bean
  • Hands-On -- Twitter: David Kelly
  • Value of Linked In: Patrick O’Malley
  • Dealing with Naysayers: Gina Minks

Afternoon Breakout Sessions (Friday, April 29, 2011, 1:00 - 2:30 pm):

  • Case Study: Where Social Media is Working: Dave Wilkins
  • Facilitating an Online Session: Sue Nolan
  • The Emerging Role of the Community Manager: Jim Storer
  • Hands On – Exploring Social Media: Jean Marrapodi

Closing speaker

As a special treat to wrap-up the conference on Friday, April 29, 2011, 3:00 - 4:00 pm -- David Wilkins,VP Product Marketing at Taleo Learn, a social learning thought leader in the online community and corporate learning industries for more than 15 years, will be our closing speaker.
David is an active speaker at industry conferences and has written articles for CLO magazine, Training Magazine, and Talent Management Magazine.

Ask your friends & colleagues to join you by sending this conference invitation to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Don't get left behind!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Clark Quinn on Designing Mobile Learning (Audio Interview)

Mobile Learning – seems to finally be tipping. 

If you’re involved with training, I suspect the push for providing mobile solutions is getting stronger.  Companies are starting to distribute iPads to their sales teams; practically everyone in corporate has a smart phone now.   

If you’re an Instructional Designer and freaking out that now you have to do mobile too – on top of everything else?! – let’s just calm down….

Start by listening to my recent interview with Clark Quinn

dmbooktitleAnd then be sure to pick up Clark’s newest book: Designing mLearning: Tapping into the mobile revolution for organizational performance

Listen to the audio interview: Designing mLearning with Clark Quinn

Friday, April 08, 2011

Slow Learning

Clark Quinn has been talking up the concept of “slow learning.”

I love this concept.

He’s expounded on it a bit in his newest book Designing mLearning.

“Recognizing that natural learning is not an event, but a process that develops over time, the question is whether we can take a slower, more thorough approach to developing learners.”

“As a metaphor, think of drip irrigation versus the typical watering paradigm, a flooding. Instead of a massive dump of information that will evaporate, how about just a little bit at a time, reinforced (spaced learning, as above). You can do this unintelligently, like drip irrigation, but you can do more.”

So with the tools you have now, what can you be doing to design for slow learning?


Quinn, Clark M., Designing mLearning: Tapping into the Mobile Revolution for Organizational Performance, Pfeiffer (San Francisco), 2011. p. 190-191

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thoughts on Thought Leaders

Everywhere I turn, another Thought Leader appears. 

Thought Leaders here, Thought Leaders there, Thought Leaders everywhere.

We’re crawling with Thought Leaders.

We are in a period of serious Thought Leader inflation.

After initial analysis, I have found three classes of Thought Leaders, but more may be uncovered over time:

1) The Self-Proclaimed Thought Leader

“I say I’m a Thought Leader, therefore, I am a Thought Leader.”

Marketing ploy? Just another loud mouth?

2)  The Thought Dictator.

I have a thought and therefore you must do what I say.  I am a leader! Follow me!

3) The Person Who Actually Thinks Leading Thoughts.

A better word for this person: visionary.

These are the innovators, thinking their sparky thoughts.  And they don’t just think about it, they do it. 

Stop following.  Start thinking.