Twenty-eight weeks ago, I devoted this weekly roundup space to Jerry Bowles and Robin Carey for founding Social Media Today and creating moderated online communities that bring bloggers together.
A lot has changed in six months, so I devote this roundup to what’s going on with SMT and its communities, why you should sign up and participate, and how I’m involved…
Launched in November 2007, the flagship community, Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day), is devoted to current events and popular topics of social media. With over 5,800 registered users and about 7,000 daily visitors (I registered last summer), the introductory box at the top of that link explains the mission:
Social Media TODAY is a moderated online business community for social media bloggers, marketers, PR, and media professionals. If that’s you, sign up and start building a personal network with your peers… create a profile and promote your expertise… add your existing blog to the SMT content flow or blog here directly… rate posts and leave comments… join the conversation.
Highlighted blog posts at SMT today include Matt Rhodes’ opinion why companies are using Twitter for the wrong reasons, Michael Brito’s crafted five steps to build a social media team, and Rohit Bharghava’s interview of Dan Schawbel. Those three posts alone received a combined 10 comments and over 4,000 views.
Every day, Robin, Jerry, and other behind-the-scenes staff cull through incoming blog feeds and approve selected posts to appear on the front page. The combination of views, comments, and ratings for each displayed post defines how long that post remains on the page.
The magic, as Connie Bensen attests, is when you can visit one website and both read social media blog posts *and* participate in the community through commenting and rating. Like the concept of de-lurking, SocialMediaToday.com shows off how many people view a post and whether it’s controversial enough to solicit comments and ratings. Have a look; click that link to see what I mean.
There are other communities, which may be more up your alley:
- The Energy Collective (@energycollectiv) is a conversation about power, policy, and climate, with recent posts by Konrad Imielinski on the price of oil, Joseph Romm on critiquing geoengineering, and Lou Grinzo on new flavors of chutzpah.
- Smart Data Collective (@smartdataco) is a data-driven enterprise community, sponsored by Teradata, with recent posts by James Taylor on business intelligence, Kevin O’Mara on knowledge management, and Brian Roger on mobile messaging.
- The Customer Collective (@custmrcollectiv) is a sales and marketing community, sponsored by Oracle, with recent posts by Ardath Albee on customer nurturing, Robert Lesser on Sales 2.0, and Christian Maurer on the relationship between social media and B2B selling.
- My Venture Pad (@myventurepad) is a conversation for leaders of growth-stage businesses, sponsored by SAP, with recent posts by Daniel Kehrer on finding angel investors, Dan McCarthy on Management 2.0, and Peter Auditore’s 10 strategies for early-stage startups.
- Sustainable Cities Collective (@suscitiescollec) is a conversation about civic sustainability and the future of cities, with recent posts by Kimberly Jarrett on the Austin City Council approving a 30-megawatt solar array, Alex Ihnen on urban design, and Edward Lifson on whether Chicago will tear down history.
- Governing People (@governingpeople) is a conversation for advocates of smarter government, with recent posts by Paige Craig on crowdsourcing Somali counter-piracy, Candi Harrison’s 5 Rs for governance, and the U.S. Civil Air Patrol’s National Capital Wing’s best practices on intercepting aircraft.
There is also a French-language community and a recently-launched Social Media School community. Many of the communities also offer podcasts series, white papers, and sporadic blogger surveys.
You can peruse though the latest feeds of all of these communities via Individurls, by clicking here.
In late February, I joined the SMT team and began working alongside Jerry, Robin, Mark, Molly, Ajay, Eric, Brian, and others as a community manager for the Sustainable Cities Collective and Governing People communities.
Among my roles, I am actively recruiting bloggers to join either/both communities (and the other SMT communities, if applicable), approving which incoming feed posts are of a par to share with the community at-large, and assorted front-end programming. I am also managing the respective Twitter feeds, as linked above.
If you would like to sign up your blog on any of the above sites, the directions are simple:
- Sign up. Your email address is where you will receive notifications of new comments, and your alias should ideally be your full name (first name and last name, with a space in the middle, e.g. John Smith). If you’re signing up your corporate blog, organizational blog, or group blog with multiple authors, you are welcome to use the group name as the alias, e.g. XYZ Company.
- Confirm your email address with the verification email you will receive.
- Log into your account and click the “autopost” link, which, depending on the community, will appear on either the left or right sidebar. This is where you should input your blog’s RSS feed URL, e.g. mine is http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ariwriter. Make sure your RSS feed is set to “full,” as the communities don’t publish summary feeds. Also make sure the URL you input is for RSS. If you don’t have a RSS feed, you can create one at FeedBurner or FeedBlitz.
- In the top left of the page, there is a link for managing your community. This is where you are asked to upload a photo. People are requested to have personal headshots, and companies can have group logos. If you’re paranoid, or don’t have a headshot or logo, you’re welcome to upload something else that will appear next to your name for approved posts.
That’s it. Sign up, auto post your RSS feed, upload a photo–and continue blogging away. You’ll receive email notifications if anyone comments. But do you remember what Connie Bensen wrote, about joining a community and participating in its evolution? By reading, commenting, and rating in others’ created works, you add value. And value is the reason why we write what we write, right?
Of course, you don’t need to be a blogger to participate (comment or rate) any of the posts. Just like you don’t need to be a blogger to join the conversation HERE and add a comment below.
You are welcome to email me at ari [at] socialmediatoday [dot] com with any questions, comments, or feedback.
My role at SMT ended in September 2009.