In January 2017, we wrapped up the training week for the inaugural class of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from the January training, the Fellows will report back on the Trellis blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. In this post, Dr. Stephanie E. Vasko recaps several talks from Google’s I/O 2017 conference and finds the link to community management.
Posted by Stephanie E. Vasko, Research Associate and Program Manager for the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI) at Michigan State University
As part of my push to develop new community engagement management skills during my fellowship year, I am interested in developing web apps for community engagement. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. While this conference is geared towards developers, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of talks I saw that touched on aspects of community engagement.
Community engagement managers often have to think about the design and display of their content for their communities, crafting content, and developing brand voice. Many communities rely less and less on in-person interactions for this and more on web resources and virtual meetings. This means that skills in areas like user experience design and designing for accessibility should be on the radar of all community engagement managers. In this vein, I wanted to share a recap of five talks from I/O that might help you expand or enhance your community engagement skills in these areas:
In January 2017, we wrapped up the training week for the inaugural class of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from the January training, the Fellows will report back on the Trellis blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. Today, CEFP Fellow Stephanie O’Donnell shares the first in a three part recap of a CEFP webinar on community playbooks.
Posted by Stephanie O’Donnell, Community Manager at WILDLABS.net, Fauna & Flora International
A playbook pulls together all the information about your community from the disparate spaces where it’s been living, collates it and presents it in a way that is accessible for a specific audience. A community playbook can also serve to legitimise and build support for the work of your community team.
Over the course of the second half of our fellowship year, the Fellows will be creating playbooks for our own organizations. To help us with this, The Community Roundtable was invited to give an overview of the key components and considerations of playbooks during one of the CEFP monthly webinars. In this post, I’ll recap that introduction, presented by Rachel Happe and Georgina Cannie.
Building online communities can be hard. Maybe you start a discussion and nothing happens – silence. Or maybe last week saw lots of conversation but this week you’re back to worrying that you’re talking to yourself. Combine that with the lack of training and resources for community managers and you can be left confused about what to do to help your community activate and grow.
One of the resources that we’ve used a lot at Trellis is the four-stage lifecycle model presented in Rich Millington’s book, “Buzzing Communities”. Millington’s model is based on a systematic review by Iriberri and Leroy which synthesized the results of 27 papers about online communities to create a model for how online communities progress. This lifecycle model is key if you’re a community manager because it explains clearly what to expect at each stage – and what you should be doing to move things along to the next.
Community managers often face the challenge of communicating their communities’ impact and value back to their organization. As we reported on the blog last year, “defining and measuring shared value” is a top goal for successful communities. Now, a new report from CMX explores the ways in which brand communities are doing just that. In the 2017 Community Value and Metrics Report, CMX shares data from over 500 participants about the ways they measure the impact of the communities they work with.
A few weeks ago we opened applications for the pilot year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program. We’ve been excited to see applications coming in from individuals and potential host organizations. Some individuals are interested in joining the scientific community engagement field for the first time and others are current community managers, all from a wide variety of backgrounds and institutions. The potential host organizations we’ve been in touch with are also wide-ranging, from discipline-focused professional societies to major international research projects.
We’re excited to announce that applications are open for the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program through Sunday, October 16, 2016.
Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Fellows Program is in its pilot year. The program’s mission is to improve community-building and collaboration within scientific organizations, including both professional associations and research collaborations. The program will provide training and support to a cohort of scientific community managers for a full year.
You can learn more about the purpose and timeline of the program on our About page.
How to apply
We’re seeking two types of applicants for the fellowship: current scientific community managers, and individuals looking to enter the field and be placed in an organization. See our Become a Fellow page to read about what’s expected of Fellows during the program, and for info on the eligibility and selection criteria for each of these options.
We’re also keen to hear from organizations interested in hosting a Fellow. If your organization is interested in developing or facilitating your collaboration or community, please email us at email@example.com to start a conversation. You can read more about expectations during the program, eligibility, and application requirements for host organizations on the Host a Fellow page as well.
For more information about the program, including interviews with existing scientific community managers, see these related posts on the Trellis Blog.
Posted by Lou Woodley, Trellis’ Community Engagement Director.
It’ll come as no surprise that I spend a lot of my time thinking about community management. But in recent years that’s expanded from focusing on the strategy and mechanics of community-building, to thinking in more detail about the people that actually support group work: the community managers.
Posted by Lou Woodley, Trellis’ Community Engagement Director.
Last week I took part in a session at the ESOF16 conference on building interdisciplinary communities. ESOF – the EuroScience Open Forum – is a biennial conference focusing on various European science and science communication activities, with a mixture of different session formats.
In our session, one of the other presenters, Ismael Rafols, gave a good overview of some of the different barriers to successfully building community, which I’ve listed out below (taken directly from his slides).
Posted by Gabrielle Rabinowitz, Community Manager at Trellis
In May I attended CMX Summit East, a community management conference focused on the future of the community industry. I met community managers from new startups and industry giants, across a wide variety of fields. We got to know each other over coffee at the badge decorating station and then got to work learning about modern community management in a series of workshops and lectures stretching over two days.