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Online Community Management For Dummies Paperback – November 29, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn to manage your online community to boost your business and build your brand

Online communities are the neighborhoods of the Internet, where different personalities who share a common interest can learn, discuss, and interact. It's up to you, as the community manager, to guide, monitor, respond to, and assess the activities of your community to benefit your company and build loyalty. It's a big job, and here's how to do it!

  • Compare and choose — decide on the type of social community your business needs

  • Hat dance — learn to be a leader, advocate, editor, brand evangelist, referee, liaison, and problem solver

  • Gotta have rules — establish guidelines that encourage quality participation

  • Meet the group — find innovative ways to learn about members and solicit their input

  • Listen and share — pay attention to comments, participate in discussions, and follow through on solving problems

  • Build traffic — make your site irresistible with valuable content and use quality keywords for high search rankings

  • Study the stats — install the right programs to monitor your community and let the results guide your strategy

  • Go offline — use speaking engagements, conferences, and fun events to draw new members

Open the book and find:

  • What you need to know about online communities

  • Ways to sell your community's value to the boss

  • How to handle difficult members

  • Tips for growing your community

  • Why you should visit other communities

  • How to use what you learn

  • Ten things every community manager should do

  • More resources for community managers

Learn to:

  • Identify core tasks for community managers

  • Build and maintain positive relationships within your online community

  • Establish policies and transparency

  • Manage comments, respond to criticism, and evaluate ROI

About the Author

Deborah Ng is a professional blogger, community manager, and social media enthusiast who grew her little writing blog into the number one online community for freelance writers before selling in 2010. She's the former community manager for several online brands, and when she's not sharing on one of the social networks, she can be found in her current role as Conference Director for BlogWorld and New Media Expo.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118099176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118099179
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,115,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Reading this book, it feels like a conversation with Deb. That's good, because Deb really knows this subject well. The information about how to manage online communities is solid and useful. The section on dealing with the negative side of online community is particularly good. For those new to the field who think they will be "hanging around online all day," Deb clears up that myth pretty fast. And while the introductory information is core, the advanced information is where this book shines. Deb goes in depth on key topics, including handling what you hear from your online community, sharing that through the company, and responding to personal scandals. I wasn't expecting a chapter on kids' communities, but I'm glad to see it's in there. Taken as a whole, it's a useful tool not only for dummies, but also for professionals called on to manage communities online.
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Format: Paperback
Length: 4:03 Mins
Deb Ng's book shares both the tactical steps and the philosophical strategies needed to help successfully manage online communities.

Deb has a lot of experience in this area and it shows in this excellent book.

Her book's guidance can help you attract and retain members, better moderate disputes, and position your forum for growth online.

More details (including a funny cartoon) in my review video.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Now let me be clear, I have never been a huge fan of the `For Dummies' books. Don't get me wrong, I have cracked a couple of those books in the days when I was attempting to learn how to code. I have, however, read the recent, Online Community Management for Dummies book by the wicked smart Deb Ng and have to say it is the best I've read in this series.

If you are new to the community management role, this book is for you. Deb outlines the many hats you must juggle as a community manager both on and offline. The book is comprised of seven parts ranging from community governance to hosting meetups and is full of tips and tricks from someone who has the battle scars of fostering a community. The underlying theme of each chapter is the focus on the health of the community...not the numbers or superficial and false indicators of success.

The role of community manager is anything but new, but it is the "it" job at present. If you are making the case for a community manager, the final section is comprised of three top ten lists that may help you with your cause. The lists outline the tasks, skills and best practices of a community manager. A community manager is an integral part of the organization because he/she is the bridge between the organization and the communities it serves. This is no position for a dummy, but everyone needs a good roadmap or refresher course, so pass on this book on to your community team. Start a discussion about how you can begin fostering a healthier dialog online and offline.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I do appreciate the fact the book fairly accurately depicts everything that is expected from a community manager I simply can't shake the feeling that all of that could have been written in 100 pages or less. Certain things get repeated several times, not because they are important but because they are barely related to that chapter. Since I skipped around a third of the book it's possible that those things were mentioned even a couple of more times.

Moreover, the whole book is just too vague, even the (rare) examples end up being lossely related and not very helpful. Yes, I know the topic is a general one but the book lacks any specific information. Imagine asking someone the time and he/she replies "Check your watch" - that's how I felt reading this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"There’s more to being a community manager than a little social networking. You need a thick skin, a pleasant personality, and the ability to organize and prioritize." —Deb Ng

If you’re considering a career in Community Management, I highly recommend Online Community Management for Dummies by Deb Ng. Deb covers everything from becoming a Community Manager to discovering successful existing communities to how to track community stats and run an offline event.

This book serves as a fantastic resource for existing community managers as well. I found myself reaching a level of information overload, but in a positive way. With highlighter in hand for future reference, I was able to power through and take notes of which nuggets of wisdom I could apply now and which to work on in the future.

I absolutely loved that Deb was able to pull together so much information that applies no matter what type of community you are or which tools you are using. This book does a fantastic job on focusing on key concepts in community management in a way that you can apply regardless of your situation.

My advice? Grab this book, take a look at the index, and decide which areas you want to focus on.

What can you improve today?
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Format: Paperback
This review is biased, because Deb was one of my first online friends and I've known her now for several years. But I really enjoyed reading Deb's book, firstly because it's written in a casual-yet-professional style. I know Deb knows how to explain complex topics effectively, and the dummies style suits her well. But style only goes so far - the guide also has some great tips that cover no only the basics of building a community, but also some difficult topic areas, such as dealing with troublesome members and how to measure success. The book also has some great sections on building online communities for children and how to maintain a community over the long haul (not easy).

If you're at the beginning or intermediate level of community management, I'd highly recommend this book. It's comparmentalized, so you can jump right in to the chapters most relevant, and come back later for more.
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