I also took some notes on Alison's talk, as follows:
Tools/tech are not community. Community is about the people and their relationships and may, or may not, be formed using all different kinds of tools.
Three roles of community managers
- Leader - guide, initiator
- Participant - listener, curator
Risks of communities
- Departmental - reputation, internal rules
- User risks - behavioural, personal attacks, bullying, suicide, self-harm
- Timescale for non-permissible content being live (if post-moderation)
- Content assessment chart (what is permissible, not permissible)
- Escalation policy
- Internal community guidelines
- Community management is not a 9-5th role (what are you going to do with the other 140hrs per week, public holidays, staff holidays, etc)
- Pre-moderation not recommended as it stifles discussion, but it may sometimes be useful in sensitive discussions.
- Never delete content - just hide from public view (keep reasons, why removed, who did it)
- Facebook can be a pain due to its lack of capability to hide comments rather than delete them
- Don't pre-guess your community by deciding on the topics that should be discussed - such as in a forum. This can fragment the community into groups too small to be sustainable. Instead first build the community, then open up specific topics based on need.
- Ensure you set context for the community, otherwise you might find the community takes its own direction without your influence.
Also at the lunch, Professor Rachel Gibson of the University of Manchester presented an overview of Project CODE (Comparing Online Democracy and Elections), a UK-funded project looking at the impact of social media use by politicians and citizens on the outcomes of elections, focusing on the US, UK, France and Australia.
Other blog posts about the lunch