If you had to build a brain trust, who would be in it and why?
Easy question. Top of the list are: Laura Gluhanich, Evan Hamilton, and David Spinks. However, I could go on for days.
Great answers to that question here:
I think Libby Brittain here is doing a fantastic job. (twitter.com)
David Spinks, Derek Shanahan, Evan Hamilton, David Noel and Thomas Knoll are those I look to for advice, sanity checks and inspiration.
My business partner, Fiona Tang, is also an inspiring creator and guide for community!
Shucks! Thanks, Laura. (Related: Would love to hear any feedback that you guys have for us on Groups — like this one! Branch this post or send me an email. I'm email@example.com.)
I think less in terms of specific CMs than I do of companies. I am obsessed with ones that are a bit consuming, that pull you in and make you want to *be a part of* what they're doing, building, selling. Etsy and Kickstarter come to mind. They always keep the focus on the people who use their product, and as a result are such feel-good brands. "How can you not get behind this?!" That, to me, is the mark of a great community, so huzzah to the folks who have carefully built it at each one.
John Yamasaki was one of my earliest mentors in community and has always been someone I learn a lot from.
Thomas Knoll has so much amazing community building experience and is someone that as soon as you talk to, you'll see his talent for connecting people.
Justin Isaf knows how to build community management/moderation systems better than anyone I know.
I can go on for a while...
Specifically for startups, I've been working on a list here: quora.com
Very flattered to be mentioned by Laura, and would throw some love to Ryan Paugh, who's done a great job with Young Entrepreneur's Council and before that with Brazen Careerist. Very dedicated to community.
As to the products that seem to draw us in, I think there are a lot of uncredited product designers who deserve a lot of cred for having built such engagement and social environments for their audience, no? Kind of unsung heroes for making community so natural within their product, methinks.
Aw, thanks guys!
Thomas, David, and Laura would definitely be on my list. Although I don't always agree with him, I think Richard Millington of Feverbee is really on top of measurement and strategy and thinking about COMMUNITY, not just social marketing.
Randy Farmer has been building communities since the birth of the web, and has some amazing knowledge built up.
Jennita from SEOmoz is doing a great job keeping their community rabidly involved.
Megan Berry and Maria Ogneva are smart cookies too.
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch