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Patrick O'Keefe
Works at iFroggy Network
Lives in Kitty Hawk, NC
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Patrick O'Keefe

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Recently on Community Signal, we discussed the career ceiling in community management. We’re extending that conversation on today's episode, talking about the community manager job hunt with an experienced professional looking for work.

+Trella Rath has spent time at Fandom (formerly Wikia), Wargaming America, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Mekanism, where she was laid off right before Christmas. Since then, she’s been searching, applying and interviewing for a new job. We discuss the challenges and surprises of looking for a community role in 2017. Including:

• Why some companies lowball community pros on salary
• Recommended sources of community management jobs
• The politics and drama of wiki editing
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Patrick O'Keefe

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There are probably more senior community jobs than ever before. But many experienced community pros struggle to advance while remaining in the profession, because many organizations fail to prioritize community. This leaves it under department heads who don’t want to scale it and only view it as a low paying role for junior-level people.

+Alexandra Dao of +Vimeo recently shifted out of a community role, in part due to a desire to advance that she wasn’t seeing in community. As one of the people responsible for We Support, a weekly newsletter for those working on community and support, she also reads many community job postings. For Alex, these experiences have revealed the ceiling of the community management profession, which we discuss on the latest episode of Community Signal. Plus:

• How Alex continues to work with community, now in research and customer insights
• Translating and transitioning your community skills from one department to another
• The simple ways to begin to experiment with usability testing for your community
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As community professionals, we get a zone when it comes to handling problems. We’re so used to fixing issues, that we can forget about outside resources that may be better suited for dealing with an issue than we are. Law enforcement is one of these.

Steve Brock (of +Mzinga) has been working in community for over 25 years, with a unique depth of experience in moderation for big brands. He has had to work with law enforcement many times, and on the latest episode of Community Signal, Mr. Brock shares stories from those efforts. Plus:

• What has remained consistent in his career through four company mergers
• Determining “valid need” with threats of self-harm
• The implication of Facebook’s patent application for a moderation tool
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After managing MetaFilter for 16 years, founder +Matthew Haughey stepped away from the community in 2015, handing the day-to-day operations over to a long time staff member with a small, paid team.

More than a year and a half later, Matt stops by Community Signal to reflect on his decision and how it has impacted the community. The transition of power at MetaFilter is our focus on this episode, including what led Matt to realize that it was time for him to go. Plus:

• Why MetaFilter charges $5 for new accounts
• The time that Matt caught Dilbert creator Scott Adams posting anonymously to praise himself
• What concerns Matt about the consolidation of power in social media platforms
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Community is at the core of the existence of public libraries. They’re an important hub for local communities and, in turn, become a community of their own, where people learn and share.

Many libraries are safe, inclusive spaces where diversity is on display. If you are new to the area, or even to the country, libraries help you connect with your new community. If you are a member of a marginalized group, libraries can provide vital support. If you have a disability, libraries offer access to tools and services that improve your quality of life.

How do libraries create those spaces? That’s what I’m talking about with +David Lee King, the digital services director at the +Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, and a recognized leader in the use of emerging technology for libraries. Plus:

• What is a digital library branch?
• How the library’s online efforts are impacted by seeing so many of their patrons face-to-face
• What online community pros can learn from libraries
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I am actually excited to vote. Call it a lesser of two evils if you want, but we do have a pretty clear choice here, as far as policy and ideology. We have a choice as far as what side of history we stand on, when people look back 20, 50, 100 years from now, and what groups we choose to stand next to.

This is not just true at the national level, but also, especially in North Carolina, on a state and local level, too. Hopefully, we make the best choices possible.
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Really enjoyed the audio book of Trevor Noah's "Born a Crime." Hearing him tell it, using various accents and languages, made an amazing set of stories even more engaging.

Also, it's not a political book, it's about his childhood. No matter where you stand politically, it's an incredible listen.
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Real name policies aren’t new. Online communities, social networks and comment sections have attempted to require real names before and many still do. One of them is the CBC, Canada’s 80 year old national radio and public broadcaster.

7 months ago, they began “requiring” people to use their real names to comment online. The CBC’s +Sam Lightowler joins Community Signal to share her observations and discuss the viability of requiring real names. Plus:

• The CBC’s responsibility to facilitate comments, as Canada’s national broadcaster
• Should non-U.S. organizations be reluctant to hand their comunity building efforts over to U.S.-based platforms?
• How being state-owned makes the CBC different from privately-owned media organizations like The New York Times
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Associations are a natural segment of the online community space, because one of the primary objectives of associations has always been connecting likeminded professionals and sharing resources. And yet, according to my guest on the latest Community Signal, “most” associations have not yet implemented an online community platform.

+Ben Martin associations build their online communities. Why are most associations still skipping online community building? And where do associations often struggle when they attempt it? That’s what we discuss on this episode. Plus:

• Ben’s plans for a Community Manager Appreciation Day livestream
• The biggest reason that associations fall short in their online community efforts
• The differences between an association community and a public-facing community
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Many online communities are ad-supported. Without that revenue, they may have to reduce their operations or cease to exist at all. Ad blocking is a serious threat, but what’s the best way respond to it?

+Todd Garland is the founder and CEO of +BuySellAds, an ad tech company that I’ve worked with for many years. He says the time to blame ad blockers is over, and that whining about ad blockers only guarantees a bad ending to this story. Plus:

• How ad quality became so bad, even for reputable players
• Why native ads are the future
• Ad behaviors that community managers and operators should watch out for

Thank you to +Higher Logic for supporting our program.
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As we talk about harassment and fake news online, we are often discussing what responsibility platforms have in the matter. What should they do? What shouldn’t they?

What does it mean to build an ethical platform? On the latest episode of Community Signal, with +marie connelly of Vox Media’s product team, we talk about how algorithms aren’t a simple answer, why we should treat spam like we treat harassment and the cost of thoughtlessness. Plus:

• What Marie did that caused lurkers to raise their hands
• Community as education
• Baking community engagement into products

Thank you to +Higher Logic for their support of our program.
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I recently spoke to a class at Syracuse about online community, and one of the students asked me what the two most important traits for a community professional were. I named empathy and attention to detail. The first one is the focus of the latest episode of Community Signal.

It’s hard to imagine a great community professional lacking empathy. And yet, it’s a skill that’s worth talking about, understanding and refining. +Higher Logic community manager +Lindsay Starke is passionate about empathy and the impact it can have on your community and your business. Plus:

• Why Lindsay cares about the history of our profession
• What feature she’d like to see Higher Logic add to their software
• Can empathy be taught?

Thank you to Higher Logic for their support of our program.
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Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur

Patrick O’Keefe has been managing online communities since 2000 and is the author of Managing Online Forums, a practical guide to managing online communities and social spaces. He hosts the Community Signal podcast.

Patrick has spoken about community for CNN, Dell, FedEx, South by Southwest, Australian National University, Northwestern University and Arizona State University. He has been cited for community management expertise by the media (Entrepreneur, WebProNews, Convince & Convert, Social Media Explorer, local CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates), and in dozens of books and academic papers.

Bragging rights
I led my little league in candy selling for two separate years, earning a $50 check and a Huffy bicycle, I have been retweeted by Diddy many times and I have DJed with DJ Jazzy Jeff on
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Kitty Hawk, NC
Contact Information
P.O. Box 1922, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
Owner, iFroggy Network
  • iFroggy Network
    Owner, 1998 - present
Basic Information
November 21
Patrick O'Keefe's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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