Online community unconference a hit

I got to spend last Wednesday hob-nobbing with 250 social media and community nerds at the second Online Community UnConference held at the Computer Science Museum in Mountain View. The people involved in community management tend to be uber social, and just as it seems, they love to talk. In fact, the board filled up with sessions in minutes. I've never been to an unconference that filled up the session board that fast!

Yahoo! was well represented, with a number of current community managers and alumni. Heather Champ, Community Manager of Flickr and Derek Powazek from Fray spoke about the bad times all communities cycle through. Their topic, "Worst Case Scenarios: What To Do When Things Go Terribly Wrong", was a great reminder. When you think of community management, especially in the beginning, it seems all beer and roses (I hate wine). I don't think many of us think of the bad until it happens. Things can and often do go wrong in this sector, and getting blindsided is never fun.

Tilly, the new CM (community manager) from MyBlogLog, and I made the rounds and were able to hit quite a few sessions, but most interesting to me were the ones on metrics/ROI. I don't think anyone has figured out the metrics of success for online communities yet, but I did gain a great deal of insight from several clueful people in the off-time after lunch.

shout board at ocu 3
Photo credit Duzins

I couldn't help but notice how many available jobs there were on the shout-out board. Community is hot!

randy farmer 2
Photo credit Duzins

Noted online community pioneer Randy Farmer did a session and he also gave props to the reputation patterns from the Design Patterns Library, found on YDN. Thanks Randy!

Broken Keyring
Photo credit Duzins

All in all, a great day. Sadly, the tchotchke I purchased at the Computer Science Museum died yesterday. I can't complain I guess, as it was only $3. Nonetheless, I remain despondent.

Robyn Tippins
Community Manager, YDN