In Siavash Mahmoudian’s session at the 2023 Community Rebellion Conference, he talks about rethinking the traditional approaches to community engagement.
Siavash started off with a story about the evolution of online community. Asking the audience how many people have used ChatGPT, he asked if people have seen the sub-reddit only consisting of AI bots that chat with one another. Obviously, things are changing, and the same holds true for community managers. As AI becomes more common, it’s important to evolve with the times alongside the technology.
Looking at the late 1990’s to 2010’s, we had the information eras, when companies had one to many interactions with their customers. There were websites, forums, and people were taking these forums and building communities around the brand. Then, moving to the interaction era from the mid 2010’s to the early 2020’s, communities continued to evolve. From the introduction of things like Facebook and Twitter, companies realized it was possible to build alongside their customers in the community. They also started realizing they could track things like posts and likes as a source of measurement. Companies then started to realize they wanted to have these conversations in their own places, not a third party community like Facebook or Twitter.
Before jumping into the future, Siavash looked into what community managers do on a daily and weekly basis. They do things like monitoring and moderating the community, answering questions in the community, creating and curating content, growing the community, and creating actionable reports. As AI continues to grow, all of these things are changing. For example, when looking to monitor and moderate the community, we’re living in an era where a computer can understand sarcasm. AI is quickly becoming better than humans at understanding certain things, so when it comes to finding spam in the community or answering questions in the community, for example, perhaps that’s an area where the new technology can plug in.
But then the question is… will AI replace us? And the answer is no. It will help us do the “boring stuff” to have more time for things like having proactive engagement with individuals in the community, having more human interaction, introducing new types of engagement, and even doing things like setting the community strategy and managing crises.
With AI, we’re also able to have additional information on your community members and create more immersive experiences. You have more time to experiment and try things in the community space that have not been done before.
November 28, 2023
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