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Lipstick on a fat cat? (A response to a rant)

The fact is that the world is imperfect. People are imperfect. Companies are imperfect. Mistakes are made and what shows quality, value, and excellence more than perfection is how you turn around the mistakes – how you (as a person and as a company) learn and grow from the mistakes and try to do better next time. That's what we can ask of the companies we choose to spend our money with. But, as people who work at companies ourselves, that's also what we can ask of each other - time and space to work to do our best. That's not putting lipstick on a pig. It's empathy, understanding, and long-term relationship building.

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[CMX Hub] How to Scale Trust and Relationships

Communities start with relationships. But how do you build relationships authentically while working for “the man”? As a branded community builder, building authentic relationships can be a mystery (at best) or an uphill battle (at worst). Working on a branded community requires a delicate balance between building authentic relationships and serving the business. That’s where …

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The Secrets Of Small Business Success – Making It In San Francisco [Townsquared]

Business owners from around San Francisco participated in in a small panel discussion for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business University. We were proud to host the event to discuss a topic any local business owner, new or established can relate to: What does it take to succeed in San Francisco? Gwen Kaplan, owner …

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Building Online Community Starts With Your Customers [Townsquared]

Community can seem like a pretty nebulous term when it comes to small businesses. If I don’t have a dedicated online space for my customers, can I really have a community online? The answer is a resounding yes. You can grow your own business community by being your own helpful, knowledgeable self as well as …

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[CMX Hub] How to Negotiate Your Next Community Job Offer

I recently had the pleasure of contributing a piece on community manager negotiation to CMX Hub. Negotiation certainly wasn’t something I learned when I started out as a community manager in 2006. Back then, I was just excited to get paid to talk about the TV show LOST in an online forum for 10 or 15 hours …

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First Class Lessons from The Ritz-Carlton Employee Community [Ning]

This post originally appeared on The Ning Blog. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company prides itself on being the gold standard for hospitality across the world and their record backs up that pride: the list of awards bestowed to their properties is quite impressive. Their service has received note, as well, making them only hotel company to receive the …

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Unpopular Communities [Ning]

This post originally appeared on the Ning Blog.  Everyone wants to be liked. But maybe being liked by everyone isn’t the best thing for your community. I recently read “The Power of Unpopular” by Erika Napoletano, the no holds barred brand strategist who makes a splash in the marketing world with her frank, uncensored advice. …

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Why Social Media isn’t a Marketing Magic Wand [Business Magazine]

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Business Magazine. I’m going to say something that might be heretical. It might make you mad. It might make you stop reading this article right here and now. If it does provoke that reaction, I implore you: keep reading. For the sake of your business, …

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The 5 Worst Community Guidelines [Ning]

This post originally appeared on the Ning Blog.  Community Guidelines can be a struggle to write, especially since they’re so specific to your community and its members. Inspired by a recent #CMGRChat on developing community guidelines, here are some really terrible ways to phrase your guidelines. Don’t be a nOOb Really? That’s how you’re greeting your …

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White Paper: 5 Questions for Selecting an Online Community Platform by Randy Farmer [Ning]

Earlier this year, I was excited and privileged to work on a collaboration with Community Pioneer F. Randall Farmer to produce an exclusive white paper for Ning – “Five Questions for Selecting an Online Community Platform.” Randy was the brains behind the operation, but I provided the editing and layout/design side and this definitely felt like …

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What is Community and Do I Need One? [Business Magazine]

This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Business Magazine. Let’s talk about a different kind of building and development: community building. Community manager is quickly replacing social media manager as the new media and startup job title du jour. What do we mean by “community” in this context, what exactly is the …

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4 Ways to Use Social Media on the Job Hunt [Business Magazine]

This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Business Magazine. Hiring may be getting better, but many are still struggling to find a job or get out of the underpaying job they are currently in. While news stories have sold the dangers of HR personnel checking up on your social media trail, a …

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