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Molly Talbert

Molly is a content writer at Higher Logic and regular contributor to the blog. Previously, she did client services and social media for a small leadership development company. In her down time, Molly reads through the internet, bikes, hikes and day dreams about her home state, New Mexico. She graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont where she studied the environment and writing, learned how to mountain bike through mud and helped edit the student newspaper.
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Recent Posts

Hacking Your Community's Subconscious

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 28, 2016 at 8:30 AM

You’re not lazy, but sometimes your brain is. It has so much to compute and process each millisecond that it needs all the extra help it can get. To do this, brains have developed little mental shortcuts we’re often not aware of but influence our decisions instantly. Many of these hardwired tricks are survival tactics that helped humans evolve to be the species we are today, but can trip us up in the modern world sometimes.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Experience

Is Grammar Still Important?

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 26, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Language constantly evolves, which makes it beautiful and fascinating to study. And with the advent of texting, instant messaging and social media, language is evolving even more quickly than normal. Since we now have the capacity for instant written communication, a huge historical shift happened -- we write as we speak. And now we’re beginning to speak as we write. Rather than only texting words like lol, jk, rofl, etc., people now speak them in everyday language. This fascinating back-and-forth flow of words from text to speech created another shift -- we now have a tendency to write informally most of the time.

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Topics: Communications, Online Community Management

What To Do When Your Community is in Crisis

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 20, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Imagine: you just sat down with a cup of coffee to start the day’s work and notice an angry, ranting blog post about a recent decision your organization made. Suddenly, your coffee tastes extra bitter. Throughout the day, the post only gains more traction and the comments spiral out of control, becoming unproductive and trolling.

Looks like crisis hit.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

The Golden Age of Newsletters

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 19, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Remember how email is supposed to be dying? Turns out it’s a little more resilient than anyone thought. In fact, good old fashioned email newsletters are having a bit of a renaissance. Powered by what? The desire to connect with communities online.

I noticed this trend in my own inbox. I used to get most of my reading material from social media (a place I still go) but am now often guided by newsletters -- everything from 730DC to Buzzfeed News to Lena Dunham’s Lenny and more (who knows how many newsletters I’ve signed up for recently). I like the commentary and specificity of each newsletter. Email also helps me engage with our Higher Logic Users Group (HUG) -- the consolidated digest sends me updates every morning on the latest discussions so I always know what’s going on (with minimal effort on my part).

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Social Media

Feeling the Burn(out)

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 18, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Some call it the “dark side” of community management. It isn’t often discussed, but as they check emails late at night and have stress dreams about work, many community managers worry it’s just around the corner -- burnout.

Community management is a new, exciting and growing field -- there are great reasons to get in on the action and become one or hire a community manager for your organization. As you jump on the train, don’t be fooled -- it’s a multifaceted profession and can be emotionally taxing.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Moderation 101: 6 Tips to Help You Toe the Community Line

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 14, 2016 at 8:30 AM

 

Don’t underestimate good moderation -- it’s a skill that takes practice. And if you want strong engagement and robust discussion on your community, it’s an ability your community manager must have, especially at the beginning.

A large part of becoming a good moderator is knowing how to strike the balance between controlling conversations to maintain order, contributing to make sure conversations don't die, and giving members or customers free reign to express themselves. You don't want mayhem, yet you don't want to dampen discussions before they even get going.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

Changing Behavior and Creating Value

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 13, 2016 at 8:30 AM

What makes a community valuable? There are a lot of combined factors that create value, but a big one is member behavior -- how do people act when they’re in your community? Member interaction can tip the scales of your community in either direction, towards success or catastrophe. If people engage and ask the group questions, the community feels much different than it would if people only checked in occasionally and emailed members privately.

What if your members aren’t doing what you want? Good news is, if your community isn’t very engaged or doesn’t feel sustainable, you can mold member behavior to create the environment you want.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Experience

The Key to Engagement -- Empower

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 11, 2016 at 8:30 AM

What’s the key to engagement? Empowered members.

Customers and members often go to communities for information -- that’s great, and you want your community to be chock-full of awesome, valuable information. But that shouldn’t be the only end goal. You don’t want people to log in only when they have the occasional question. You want community to be part of their routine, with regular check-ins and contributions.

So, how do you get people coming back often? How do you help members and customers find value in your community?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

2015 Favorite Community Reads

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 6, 2016 at 8:30 AM

In many ways, 2015 was the year of the private online community. All types of organizations caught on to the virtual community shift -- small and large, nonprofit and commercial. And if they haven’t yet, they’re beginning to realize they should, since communities are here to stay.

Not only does community increase member retention and growth, but it helps with content creation and humanizes your organization.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Extreme Ideas to Make Your Community Fun

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 4, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Even a perfect community can get a little stale.

Does this sound familiar? Say everything is going well -- your launch was smooth, automation rules are up and running, you’re following all the top best practices and have aligned the community with your organization’s strategic goals. Everything is working! Yet something still feels flat.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Experience

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