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July 19, 2013

Interview with Patrick O’Keefe, Author of Managing Online Forums

Is there a difference between building a community versus building an audience? If so, what are they?

They can be the same thing. A community is an audience. Some would grasp tightly to the idea that an audience watches and doesn’t contribute or interact, but that isn’t really true. Performers interact with audiences all the time. With my hosting of Soda Tasting, I’m building an audience, but I’m also building a community. It really can mean the same thing.

That said, if you wanted to draw a firm line, you could say that when you are the primary “performer,” you are building an audience. But if you are cultivating interactions between others, more so than interactions with you specifically, you are closer to building a more traditional community.

All communities, big or small, have that feeling of connection, and being part of something bigger. How do you foster that connection?

It helps to have a focus, to understand why you exist and who you exist to serve. What’s your goal? Who do you want to be? When I started KarateForums.com, we had a simple goal, which was to be a martial arts community that was work friendly (generally family friendly) where respect was very important. That goal has informed everything that we’ve done and 12 years later, the result is a community I am very proud of, where people speak to each other in a way that is incredible to watch and easy to appreciate. read more

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June 28, 2013

Interview with New York Times Best-Selling Author Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is CEO and President of Human Business Works, an education publishing and media company helping professionals become the best they can be. His book “Trust Agents” co-authored alongside Julien Smith, is a New York Times Best Seller, and the duo also went on to write “The Impact Equation”. When Chris isn’t busy speaking or working on his next project, you can find him blogging about social media, business, and more. In fact, Advertising Age ranks his blog number three in the world for social media/marketing.

When did you first get started blogging? In what ways has the landscape changed since then?

I started back in 1998 when we called it journaling. There weren’t comments. There wasn’t RSS. And more people wrote about a passion instead of tried to write to get attention only.

The design of your site is pretty fantastic. I’m a little jealous actually. Is great design important, or does the saying “Content is king” ring true?

Great design IS important. It’s the equivalent of an Armani suit and a Rolex vs a backwards ball cap and a tee shirt. Design actually triggers trust opinions.

What are some of the biggest mistakes bloggers make?

Bloggers write far too often from the opinion that others want THEIR opinion and not useful information, and MOST bloggers end posts horribly, without any good resolution or next action. Endings are most bloggers’ problems. read more

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