Organic Community Growth From Scratch #CMAD

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On Air: 09:00 - 10:00 EST (GMT-5)
Monday, January 27th, 2014


It’s a question that has been around from the early days of community manager, remains one of the most asked questions today and will continue to remain a question for many in the future:

“How do I grow a community from scratch?”

Whether you are starting a new company, launching a new product or launching an internal community, there are some basic tips and tricks to make the job a little easier. We’re inviting community managers who have experienced this from a variety of industries and in many different roles. Next time your asked, “Can’t we just pay some influencers to start our community?” you’ll have the answer of what it really takes to grow an organic community from scratch.


Tim McDonaldTim McDonald
Director of Community at The Huffington Post, Founder at My Community Manager

Tim builds communities, not networks, through building individual relationships that create movements. Director of Community at The Huffington Post. A passionate member of #NoKidHungry Social Council, striving to end childhood hunger in the US. Believer of connecting people with a purpose.

Connect with Tim on Twitter at @tamcdonald or on Google+.


Floor DreesFloor Drees
Community Manager at CheckiO

Floor worked as a community manager for 5 years, at the same time she was learning how to program. Excited to touch something new, and encouraged by some amazing coders in her friends circle, she soon felt comfortable fiddling around with Ruby on Rails and CSS. She landed two jobs in a row, that led more towards developer evangelism. Currently, at CheckiO, she manages an online learning platform for coders (/pythonistas) to bridge the gap between rockstar developers and beginner coders. And there’s no place she’d rather be.

Connect with Floor on Twitter at @floordrees or on Google+.

Katie FeltenKatie Felten
Community Manager at Milkster

Katie is an accomplished community builder, connector of people and has a passion for living life. She is an avid juicer, voracious reader and loves trance music. You can often find her doing Bikram yoga, rock climbing or on an outdoor adventure.

Connect with Katie on Twitter at @katiefelten, on her “If life is
worth Living, its worth recording blog.”
or on Google+.

Ese EmerhiEse Emerhi
The World Bank Institute (formerly), now with PIND Foundation

Most recently Ese has worked as a community manager for all WBG (World Bank Group) community managers, by providing technical assistance and strategic advise on all aspects of community building. Her approach to community building is centered on the “personal”, using personal and professional connections and true people-skills to build communities and networks that thrive, a focus that is minus all the noise around (social) platforms.

Connect with Ese on Twitter at @emerhi or on Google+.

Luca RasmussenLuca Rasmussen
Partner Manager at 23

Luca is responsible for partner relations in 23, a visual sharing company that allows people to reinvent their business with video. Apart from 23, he is active as an advisor to The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science where he supports the cultural fond.

Connect with Luca on Twitter at @rasmussenluca or on Google+.

Shauna RempelShauna Rempel
Social Media Team Editor at Toronto Star and Community and Communications Manager at Canadian Association of Journalists

Shauna’s the community manager and communications coordinator for the Canadian Association of Journalists, a national organization for journalists from every medium. In her day job she leads social media strategy and practice for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily. She also teaches digital journalism at Ryerson University.

Connect with Shauna on Twitter at @shaunarempel or on Google+.

Jennifer ShawJennifer Shaw
Founder at New York Tech Women and Bella Minds

In 2011 Jennifer founded NYTechWomen, quickly establishing the organization as the authority for women in tech in the NYC metro area. She hales from rural Nebraska, and uses her All-American roots as fuel for empowering and including people – leveraging technology and improving the state of STEM education and workforces. With the launch of her new venture, Bella Minds, her mission remains focused in empowering women who are serious about the power of technology.

Connect with Jennifer on Twitter at @MissJennShaw or on Google+.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some of the first steps you should take when building a community from scratch?
  2. How can you find community members before you have a product/service?
  3. Who are people you can work with to help build your community?
  4. How do you separate yourself from being the community?
  5. What challenges do you face as your community starts to scale? Can these be avoided?
  6. What is one tip you would give someone starting to build a community?

RSVP & Watch the Hangout

Want to RSVP for the Hangout? Visit #CMAD presents: Organic Community Growth From Scratch and let us know you’re going to watch. This will add the event to your calendar and remind you to attend!

The video will play on the event page when the broadcast starts.

Not sure what time this is for your location? Use

Sherrie Rohde

Community Manager at Magento
As the Community Manager for Magento, Sherrie connects people with resources and with each other, and, since she’s just a bit passionate about the topic, she also co-produces a weekly broadcast for community professionals called #CMGRHangout. An ENFP, Sherrie is obsessed with innovation, terrified of status quo, and motivated by adventure. 
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