Posted in Club Penguin, Disney, kids, Nick, tween

SXSW07: Community Ecology: Finding Balance When Working with Fan Groups Panel

Community Ecology: Finding Balance When Working with Fan Groups Panel
Jake McKee Lead Samurai, Big in Japan (previously adult community manager at Lego)
Rebecca Newton Global Safety & Moderation Mgr, (Habbo/VMK) (previously with Israel Interactive and AOL)
Terrence Ryan Moderator,
Virginia Miracle Dir Word of Mouth Mktg, Brains on Fire (fiskar scrapbooking community – fisketeers) (previously with DELL)
Betsy Whalen Dir Mktg, Discovery Education

Regarding how live events work in conjunction with online community
– keep them small
– trust your community
Habbo’s virtual world found was best to keep virtual and real separate to maintainthe magic for their users

Open up questions to audience:

Question about how to control brand consistency in your community without a hub site, only grassroots
– you don’t – you help them understand any negative aspects, champion the positive
– get over your fear, community has openness/unpredictablilty and should be embraced
– don’t be upset, figure out a way to work with it
– treat your community like a relationship, with honesty and openness

Question about at what size does the community need to be before doing on its own
– how long should you stay on other social networks before making your own
– don’t focus on the tech, but rather what tech works for the community you have – example of a tangent communnity that spun off of discovery eucations community members
– clearly define your success measures (traffic, longevity, active periods)
– determine if there is a need and fill that need

Question from Cartoon Network – launching game and wanted to know about how to market
– make easy to share
– make the tagline palatable and easy for kids
– virtual world like Nicktropolis
– have a place for them to create their own games
– referenced Club Penguin

Question about online fundraising
– how to maximize
– how do you deal with “bad” community ideas
– be clear on parameters , unlimited scope is not good

Question on how to get your audience involved in the product design process
– contextualize it for your community
– determine the success measures
– identify your community leaders, give them the tipping point moment to become more involved
– communities are based on ego – play on that
– recognize people like to talk about the bad than the good, help them contextualize
– given them an opportunity (ask them).

Question about self policing flagging, etc and not hurting the community
– there is an illusion that there is free speech in an online community, but it is a public facing private area
– company needs to understand what abuse means, constructive criticism is not ness a bad thing
– common practice is the more opportunity you give the users to shape their community, the more active and engaged community you get, not vice versa

Question regarding how they deal with user feuds
– deal with them like children, put them in separate corners
– had to change the “ignore” tool to “ban chat” because users needed a stronger feeling word for their feuds
– be open and there for your users

Question regarding internal office community and how to make it succeed
– start small, in manageable chunks
– show examples on how easy it is (make it easy, of course)
– get your early adopters and make sure they are influencers for more commentary


I am a data & results driven Digital Media Influencer with over 15 years of experience in engagement, family marketing, scaling infrastructure and audience culture across a product’s lifetime from pre-launch to millions of users. Strategic Vision & Business Development: • Articulated corporate integrated digital marketing strategies for 10 children’s entertainment properties across multiple digital channels • Authored a comprehensive business plan for scalable online community infrastructure for internal and external partners and successfully participated in a thorough VC due diligence process • Increased sales revenue by 20% while managing 6 million dollars of annual revenue in existing business services. Production & Project Management: • Developed multiple 2D & 3D multi-player virtual worlds, online games & apps based on repurposed/original assets • Produced 12 animated 2-minute shorts for broadcast on television & developed animation production department workflows • Launched multiple major website redesigns to include more fan interaction • Led workflow & process optimization teams to improve operational effectiveness/productivity. Audience Engagement & Research: • Developed domestic and international audience research programs both on & offline for both parent and children audiences • Grew multiple audiences from pre-launch to tens of millions by using organic, as well as established marketing tactics. Team Management & Relationship Building: • Designed team management & organizational structures for multiple Web Content and Web Marketing departments including international remote teams of staff in North & South America, Europe and Asia. • Managed teams in multiple disciplines, including customer service, social media engagement, production, moderation, marketing, design, tech and content development. • Extensive client, vendor and partner management experience in television, licensing, digital, e-commerce & customer service industries

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