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August 26, 2011

5 Responsibilities You Have as a Community Admin

Image of CommunityAs a blogger, you are more than just an author and content creator, you are also a community administrator, managing and encouraging interaction between your readers and visitors.

Though much of this community interaction you can’t control, namely all of the conversation that happens off your site (Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.), a lot of it does take place directly under your purview, including comments on your site, conversation on your Facebook page and so forth.

To be a successful blogger, you need a good community to survive and thrive. However, running a community also comes with a series of responsibilities, both ethical and legal, that you need to be aware of.

Simply put, being a community admin is far more than having a comment box open on your site and letting others post. There’s actually a great deal more to it, especially if you want to have a community that is both productive and on the right side of the law. read more

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June 3, 2011

Trademark, Copyright and Fan Sites

Filed as Guides with 1 comment

On June 1st, the blog and community site Canon Filmmakers announced that their site was coming to an end. However, it wasn’t because the owner of the site was retiring or a server catastrophe ate all of the posts and guides, instead, it was a legal threat from Canon itself forcing them to close and turn over their domain (Note: Link to likely to stop working shortly).

This wasn’t the first time Canon used or attempted to use Trademark to shut down a site about them. In 2009, for example, they sent a takedown notice to WordPress.com, which was hosting a site entitled “Fake Chuck Westfall”, which is a parody of the real-life Canon technical adviser Chuck Westfall and commonly lampoons the company. However, in that case, WordPress.com refused to remove the site and it remains online today.

Other sites have reported problems with Canon, especially when they’ve used the trademark in the domain itself, but Canon is far from the only company to have legal spats with their fans. Fan communities, it seems, are plagued by legal problems, both trademark and copyright related, and are among the most legally-risky sites to create.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create a fan site, be it a blog or a community, just that you have to be aware of the risks and work to mitigate them.

read more

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November 30, 2009

The Blurring Line Between Blogs and Forums

What separates a blog and a forum? It’s not as simple of an answer as it was just a few years ago.

Forums have long been making use of RSS feeds and some have even adopted more blog-like layouts. Now many forum applications have begun sending pingbacks and trackbacks to articles linked in posts, an activity that began and, previously was limited to, blogs.

However, blogs have also begun to become more and more forum-like. Though comments have always been a major part of blogging, many are also encouraging original submissions. They are also placing a heavier emphasis on comments and services such as Disqus and Intense Debate provide greater commenter identity and cross-site accounts.

In short, where forums have been pulling from the playbook of blogs in their newest features, blogs have been gradually becoming more community-oriented, turning away from the author-oriented approach they are often associated with.

This has had the effect of blurring the lines between the two and confusing many who are building new sites.

To help make sense of it, I decided to turn to my long-time friend, podcast co-host and all-around community expert Patrick O’Keefe in hopes he could provide some insights into their similarities and differences as well as help sites decide which format is right for them. read more

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August 17, 2009

Darren Rowse to Launch ProBlogger Community

It seems as if Darren Rowse have finally found something he wants to do on the problogger.com domain, which he got to complement his ProBlogger brand. The result will be a community, and you can sign up for access already. It’ll be interesting to see what he’s got up his sleeve for this one. A simple forum, or more?

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February 3, 2009

Exploring Social Media: LeVar Burton Passionate About Social Media

 

I recently joined a social networking site called Twitter. The reason that I joined is simple. However the reason that I have stayed and made a conscious decision to become as Twitterer myself, is what has led me to this BLOG.

…After lurking for a while (not in a creepy context, simply observing) it occurred to me that I had encountered in Twitter a bona fide community of individuals bound together by common interests and occasionally, ideals….

I feel like I have found part of my tribe in my online community, my Tweeple, so to speak. It is my intention, in the days and weeks to come, to lean on my online tribe for the kind of support, advice, and good humor that any man can expect from one’s community…

For those seeking to understand the pull social media sites like has, the first blog post by LeVar Burton on his new blog summed it up. read more

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August 6, 2008

Not Just Blog Writers Who Get Freelance Gigs

Reading Fred Wilson’s AVC blog about his recent redesign made me realize it is not just the writers of blogs who can use blogging to get freelance opportunities.

Check out the article and see if you mentally highlight the parts I did. read more

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