10 things I've learned from bumblebee-herding
Diana refers to what I do on Compuserve as "herding the bumblebees". I love that image -- herding bumblebees is harder than herding cats! -- but as I often say, the trick to bumblebee-herding is to do it without getting stung. <g>
I have learned a tremendous amount in the last seven years about how to manage a large and constantly shifting group of forum members. Here are ten of my favorite tips, techniques, and strategies for bumblebee-herding. I think most of these could be applied to managing any online community, Facebook group, etc.
10 Things I've Learned from Bumblebee-Herding
1) Keeping discussions organized and on-topic is an art, not a science, and it takes time and practice to learn how to do it effectively.
2) You can't please everybody. Inevitably, some people will disagree with your decisions. Don't take it personally.
3) Trust your own judgment.
4) Encourage people to ask questions. Even if the topic has been discussed many times before, there will always be newcomers who haven't seen the previous posts.
5) Make an effort to acknowledge new people and make them feel welcome. This is especially important in a group where many of the members have known each other for a long time.
6) Nobody's perfect. Even bumblebee-herders make mistakes from time to time. <g> It's OK to admit it if you screw up.
7) Lead by example. Be polite and show that you have a sense of humor, and most people will reciprocate.
8) Discussions tend to run in cycles. If you hit a rough patch, try to remember "this too shall pass".
9) Even in the midst of the busiest "thread explosions", take a break once in a while. "Me time" is important! (I made a conscious effort to do this during the TV-series discussions in April and May, and it definitely helped.)
10) Don't be afraid to yell for help if you need it.
This past year on Compuserve has been quite a challenge for me, but I'm still enjoying my role on the forum tremendously!