Community-Macher: Maria Sipka, Linqia

1.) Who are you and what are you doing?

I’m a mad passionate online community evangelist. My vision is to see more thriving online communities jammed packed with valuable content, highly engaged members and motivated community managers. I’m building an online marketplace that helps brands and agencies identify, connect and engage with many communities via the community manager. We’re aiming to establish direct relationships with over 200,000 online communities and groups across 100 social networks reaching 250 million + people globally.

2.) Which communities are you operating or have you helped to build up?

My very first online community was Global Business Women on XING which I started to help female members learn how to network online in a safe and trusted environment. It now has over 15,000 members globally. With limited time, today I run two communities including The Moderator Community – a resource rich gateway for community managers, enthusiasts and experts and Influencer Marketing which is a small group on LinkedIN helping media professionals understand how to reach and engage with online communities. I’ve helped build up many online communities over the past 5 years including Amazing Dreamers, Netweaving, IBM connection, YPO, Passion Networks, Business Fights Poverty and many more.

3.) In your opinion, what is the impact of community concepts for the online world and tell?

From a social perspective, online communities have the capability to transform governments, policies, social structures, education, health and well being. Today, people spend on average 27% of their time in online communities as apposed to 4,6% searching. It takes seconds to join an online community and regardless of where you live, how much money you have, what you own or who you know, you can share and be heard. Now imagine mobilizing many like-minded communities. I believe the world is yet to see the true impact of online communities as the masses start to participate and spend increasing amounts of times gathering in places that matter to them most.

4.) What are your favourite communities and why? (only one of your own ones!)

I spend most of my time searching for people and content related to Linqia. Hence, I’ll hang out in LinkedIN, XING, Flickr, Slideshare, Delicious and the The Moderator Community. I love the TED community mainly for the content and reading people’s opinions and I often find myself in The Funded to learn about the perils of fund raising.

5.) Please name three success factors of a good community and tell us why?

It’s quite simple. First and most important, a passionate, active and brilliant community manager who adds life into the community. Second, the content needs to be relevant, engaging and worth while to give attention too. And lastly, a good search tool that helps members find content and people.

6.) What are the main challenges of a community manager?

By far, the biggest challenge is activating and engaging members. We often hear from community managers the same dilemma of having a quantity of members in their communities and very little activity.

7.) What is the most critical point during the life cycle of a community and how can you handle it?

The point where communities need to re-invent themselves or add fresh air is the most critical point. Similar to how a restaurant needs to add new items to their menus, communities need to do the same. Listening to your members and asking them what is important to them is the first place to start and then implementing change progressively builds loyalty and trust.

8.) According to the relevance for a community manager, could you name three books or articles?

Here’s a list of 1698 resources in The Moderator Community categorized and powered by a good search tool.

9.) Please name three buzzwords characterizing drivers of future community development?
  • Branded communities. (most companies and organizations are joining the community band wagon)
  • Resonance. (thanks to Twitter)
  • Monetization. (So we invest hours and hours into our communities. Is it OK to make money?)
10.) In your opinion, which community maker or evangelist is outstanding?

Seth Godin totally gets it! And understands how communities can be commercially viable.

Dieses Profil ist Teil unsere Serie Community Macher

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