Month: July 2015

Are the Sharks a Playoff Team?

Are the Sharks a Playoff Team in 2015-2016? The dust has settled and we’re starting to gear up for training camp. The drafts is one, the free agency period complete, the key free agents signed, and so now we can take a step back and ask… Are the San Jose Sharks a playoff team in 2015-16? I have to say I’m happy with the team as it stands today, and so I’ll go on record and declare that I think it’s a playoff team again next season. Will they win the Western Conference or the Pacific Division? Unlike some I’m not so sure. Will they go deep in the playoffs? Let’s ask that question again around the start of the season — it’s far too early to predict rationally and I think there’s a good chance there’ll be at least one more roster move by Doug Wilson before October. I really like the addition of Martin Jones and allowing Annti Niemi move on. Niemmi would be at best as good as he was last season and possibly into the inevitable decline of an aging goalie, and last year, he was merely adequate, which wasn’t good enough in front of a not-deep-enough defense. Jones isn’t fully proven but I love the game he plays and I think he has a significant upside. There’s some risk here but I feel it...

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Are there real Alternatives to Adobe’s Creative Cloud?

Adobe is the 800 pound gorilla of the digital darkroom. With Lightroom and Photoshop, they are the vendor that almost every serious photographer uses to turn their images from what they get in camera to what they show off to the rest of us. Unfortunately, a significant number of these photographers do so grumbling and clenching their teeth and wishing they had alternatives to giving money to Adobe. There’s good reason for this unhappiness because as good as Adobe’s tools are and as talented as their enginees are, their marketing and management often make decisions on things like pricing that come across as at best tone deaf and can easily be interpreted as arrogant. Adobe’s shift to Creative Cloud is a good example; completely ignoring the discussion on shifting from shrinkwrap licensing to a subscription model — since that is a huge fight for many on top of everything else — their initial pricing for Creative Cloud was frankly abusive to people like photographers who only wanted access to Photoshop, and a lot of loud and angry criticism ensued. Adobe ultimately listened and the current pricing and offerings in Creative Cloud are in my view reasonable, but Adobe has this long history of pricing decisions that boil down to “We know you have no choice and we don’t care if you’re unhappy”, and that’s left a lot of users...

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A Sample Community Manager Job Description

A few weeks ago one of the groups I work with gave me a call and asked for my help, because they felt they needed to hire a community manager but they really weren’t sure how to write a job description or structure the position. As part of that, I wrote up the following for them and I thought it might be useful to others as well. If nothing else, it’ll probably explain my philosophy of community management a bit. What is a Community Manager? Community manager can mean many things, it is almost a generic title without some context. Within DevNet we have three people with the title Community Manager, and we each have very different roles. Mine is more directly tied to being outward facing, marketing and social media; One manages the  community content procurement, organization and management, and the other is a content and curriculum creator and in charge of the site UX/UI. Right there you see that community management ends up covering a huge swath of an organization and can end up very cross-functional. The base definition of a community manager is a person who manages and oversees user-created content for an organization. A junior community manager might be someone monitoring forums, wikis or mailing lists and making sure that the content is within corporate standards and defusing conflicts among the members. These people may or...

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Going Viral — Thoughts and Feedback about the Death of Reddit piece

So a week ago I wrote and posted a piece called The Death of Reddit where I talked about the community site and my thoughts on the problems and challenges surrounding it. It turned out to be pretty popular. Here’s what going viral looks like: A site that averages 150 pageviews on a quiet day suddenly serves up 72,000 pageviews of an article over a week, plus another 4,000 pageviews of the followup I wrote, plus a significant increase of other content as a percentage of users explore the site — 91% of visitors only looked at that one page, but the other 8% tended to explore across my sites (and thank you for that!). Average reading time for the article was 7 minutes, which is amazing. The server held up to the spike in service, although there were a couple of times I wasn’t sure whether it would. Thankfully I had caching installed. It seemed like the biker bar visualization and the concept of the so-called “basement groups” clicked with people, and in watching the ongoing discussion I’ve been thrilled to see others using those terms talking about the problem. I’ll admit that in writing the piece I was worried I might end up in a firefight by attracting the attention of the negative elements I was writing about. If there’s a surprise I can point at coming out...

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Fixing or Replacing Reddit, some quick thoughts

Watching how The Death of Reddit spread across the net was fascinating. It’s been a while since I’ve written something that got that much interest and commentary, and to everyone that passed it along and talked about it or sent me feedback, thank you. The page has passed 25,000 page views and doesn’t seem to be slowing down much, so it definitely hit a nerve. Thank god for caching, the site was rock solid and stable. I was seriously worried it might attract the troll brigades, but at the end of the day, I muted one person and blocked none, and I had dozens and dozens of fascinating conversations that have had me thinking and pondering about many aspects of this. I am truly surprised that there’s so little pushback or disagreement on it. Reddit really should pay attention to — if not what I wrote — the opinions of everyone reacting to it. That, to me, is what’s significant here, the consensus opinion I’m seeing in the response. I had started on a follow up piece on “how not to become Reddit” to try to bring out some of the design and building ideas that can help someone interested in creating communities avoiding ending up looking like Reddit, but that draft immediately declared itself to be a book and threatened to take an option on a trilogy, so I...

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