I am a big fan of Richard Millington’s work. He is committed to growing and building communities and doing it right, so I was really pleased, and excited, when he asked me if I wanted an advance copy of his book to read and review.
Someone who once worked with Richard told me that working with him wanted to make them “up their game” and that’s exactly what Richard’s new book “Buzzing Communities” does. Reading it makes you want to do better, and up your own game and that of the community you manage. This book isn’t about how to tweet, or broadcast messages, or how to get “Likes” on Facebook, so if you are looking for a how-to on tweeting and posting status updates you should pass on this book.
What Buzzing Communities is about is how to build, grow, measure and maintain a solid community. The book takes you from strategy, growth, content, moderation, through to return on investment, business integration and much more. Richard highlights key elements that all community managers should have in their skill set, including how to build community spirit, and get your members to bind together and form relationships. The information Richard shares isn’t surface type stuff, he gets down to the lowest level, works up and shows you what community is all about and the science behind it all, and backs this up with solid examples.
He extensively answers the ROI question that I see brought up time and time again in community management discussions. He shows you how you can measure, and how to use those measurements to improve your community. Every page I read got me all fired up to try and measure everything I can, and then to use that information to improve things within my community.
I took lots and lots of notes the whole way through this book, and I know I will refer to Buzzing Communities for many years to come. To give you an idea of the content I was particularly interested in I’ve listed below some of the sections I bookmarked:
Why We Need Our Data
Community Management Framework
How To Measure Sense of Community
I urge Community Managers to read this book and keep it on your bookshelf. Because no matter if you think you know all there is to know about community management I can assure you that you don’t, and I can guarantee you will pick up information in this book that you didn’t know, or maybe would not have considered before, and in turn you will be able to use that information within your own community building strategy.
PS. I was lucky enough to get two copies of the book, so the first person who gives me a shout on Twitter (@sueontheweb) using #buzzingcommunities will get my second copy free. – Update: Congrats to @jonharules who gets my second copy of the book.