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Andy Steggles

Andy is the President and Chief Customer Officer at Higher Logic. He is an industry thought leader and frequent keynote speaker at conferences and events, traveling the globe to educate professionals about the importance of collaborative software, the cloud and the impact technology makes on the community it serves. He is the author of the best selling book Social Networking for Nonprofits. Prior to joining Higher Logic, Andy spent ten years serving as the Chief Information Officer at the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) where he headed their technology and social strategy initiatives.
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Recent Posts

Membership Department vs. Community Management Department

Written by Andy Steggles | on December 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM | 4 minute read

Associations are starting to realize that the traditional membership department is changing rapidly and for some, the focus has moved from membership to community.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Marketing, Associations, Online Community

Lurkers Rock! Who Says They Offer No Value?

Written by Andy Steggles | on November 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM | 3 minute read

It's been awhile since the ASAE Annual Meeting, but I recently came across an Associations Now re-hash of a few sessions, including the one by friends Ben Martin and John Chen that sparked so much commentary about the value - or lack thereof - of lurkers in online communities.

Just to clarify, a "lurker" is a common term for someone who consumes content but does not create content, i.e. they read but don't create. I have to say that I totally disagree with the idea that lurkers are of no value in online communities. I see every lurker as both an asset to the community just by virtue of lurking, after all, if your members didn't read/consume/lurk, then it'd be much more unlikely that other members would create. Also, keep in mind that every lurker is a potential future contributor.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Software Support & Online Community Platform Selection

Written by Andy Steggles | on November 16, 2013 at 9:30 AM | 6 minute read

A common and much disputed saying about online communities is 'build it and they will come,' referring to the concept that all you need to do to create a thriving online community is launch the software. Obviously, it's not that simple.

There's a lot that goes into the success or failure of an online community - strategy, site design, integration with whatever back-end database the org is using, etc. Not to mention community management. But one facet of online community that I don't think gets enough recognition is support, e.g. help for the person/people managing the community and helping them make their platform as good as it can be.

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Topics: User Group Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Support, Customer Success, Online Community

The Case for Gamification in Online Communities

Written by Andy Steggles | on October 28, 2013 at 9:30 AM | 2 minute read

Earlier this week, friend and association community management consultant Ben Martin wrote a blog making the case against gamification as a feature of online communities. He argued that gamification encourages people to participate in online communities for the wrong reasons - reward and/or recognition - and that it can negatively impact the quality of posts.

Also that gamification can lead to resentment among community members, when only a select few have badges or high point scores while others who contribute quality content go unrecognized. Coincidentally, a discussion of this same topic popped up on HUG this week as well, and the majority of the comments echo my thoughts about gamification: namely, that it's a beneficial element of online communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

SharePoint's "Cloud" of Discontent - Why Companies are Looking at Alternatives

Written by Andy Steggles | on October 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 3 minute read

I recently read this article that poses the question, "Should Microsoft kill SharePoint?" I personally think the answer is yes. My experience with Sharepoint is just one example of why.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Customer Experience, Online Community

Online Community Engagement - What is Success?

Written by Andy Steggles | on September 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM | 4 minute read

How do you define success?

When most organizations try to measure success with regard to their online communities, they usually do so with an eye to specific KPIs that they've determined to be important to their particular org, rather than in comparison to other companies. I think this way of measuring success is more accurate and shows that success in online communities is not one-size-fits-all, but rather something an individual organization determines and works toward.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Engagement, Member Engagement, Online Community

#1 Key to Successful Communities: Keep it Simple

Written by Andy Steggles | on September 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 1 minute read

I've been doing a lot of simplifying in my life recently, and I've noticed the trend carrying over to the work I do with online communities. For example, I was recently reviewing a community site, which had the standard nav structure many out-of-the-box communities have. There were seven top level nav items with twelve items under the community area of the nav alone - arguably the most important area. It looked something like this:

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Using An Online Community Platform to Crowdsource Conference Sessions

Written by Andy Steggles | on August 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 2 minute read

It's that time of year again - time to crowdsource sessions for Higher Logic's annual Users Group Conference, HUG Super Forum. This year is the fourth year we've done the conference, with each year drawing more attendees, and we expect this year's event to be the best yet. One of the reasons I think HUG Super Forum has been such a success is the way we pick the sessions. That is to say, we don't pick them - Higher Logic users do.

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Topics: Communications, Online Community Management, Online Community Software, Online Community

Online Community Resource: Engagement Success Kit

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM | 2 minute read

This blog is about presenting thoughts around social business in a broad sense. But when Higher Logic comes out with resources that I think would be useful to anyone interested in private online communities, I'll be sharing them here. Case in point: the 2013 Higher Logic Engagement Success Kit

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Retention, Online Community

Shamification: Gamification with a Twist of Social Pressure

Written by Andy Steggles | on June 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM | 2 minute read

Last week I attended an interesting event at Deloitte's Technology Venture Center which has me thinking about the concept of gamification. The presenter, Dan Yates, CEO and Founder of Opower led a discussion about how the use of consumer peer pressure saves money, reduces energy consumption and helped build a multi-million dollar company.

Opower is a SaaS platform which focuses on the energy industry. Yates recognized how incredibly useless a traditional energy bill was and decided to do something about it. After performing some tests, he proved the more traditional utility-to-consumer message of "Save 20% on your energy bill just by doing X,Y or Z" was not working. Yates said how he decided to "benchmark against the norm" by telling customers how they were doing relative to their neighbors. His message was essentially "70% of your 100 nearby neighbors use less energy than you." This new message recognized an almost immediate significant reduction in energy consumption which is what has driven his company through its exponential growth.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Social Media, Online Community

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