My colleague Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read/Write Web gave me a sneak peak at their Guide to Online Community Management Report and Aggregator. This is a premium service and it well worth the investment.
The report condenses and summarizes the best thinking about online community management from a cadre of experts - those are online community manager practitioners and gurus. If you're new to the topic, it is a great way to get up to speed and will would definitely help you inform your strategy.
The other half of the guide is an online component to help you keep up to date. It's called the RWW Community Management Aggregator. It is a mashup of RSS feeds on one page that includes:
- The ten best or "must read" blog posts from selected blogs. The filtering of these posts is handled automatically is based on the number of comments, inbound links, and other signs of engagement. (Hmm .. sounds like a mashup of RSS run through Postrank)
- The Twitter accounts from a small group of gurus/practitioners in online community management
- Blog roll
- Exportable OPML feeds for all blogs and hot posts
It strikes me that this a fantastic model for professional development 2.0 for online community managers or what education technology bloggers like Stephen Downes call "Personal Learning Environment." Or a listening post (it's what I have patched together for my blogging listening post, although I it isn't a pretty as Read/Write Web's Online Community Management Aggregator)
It is a premium service, you have to pay $299 - but if I was planning an online community strategy or a practitioner, I'd sign up for this service in a heartbeat because setting up such a system is very time intensive. Also, if I was new to the field - it's really overwhelming to play catch up. The combination of a synthesis of knowledge from the past year or so, along with a way to step into the river of news about online communitymanagement best practices without drowning is worth the price of admission.
I'm also thinking about the recent social network nonprofits study and this is exactly the type of strategy advice that some nonprofits need to get better results with their online communities.
You learn more about the report and aggregator here.