Australian Community Managers Survey 2015

Numbers make me happy. Numbers about groups of people make me especially happy. Numbers about groups of people that include me? Even better!

That’s why the results of the benchmark 2015 Australian Community Managers Survey was of particular interest to me.

I think some people underestimate the power that community management has over a brand's identity in this increasingly digital and social world.

The survey was commissioned by Dialogue Consulting, SWARM community management conference co-founder Venessa Paech and Quiip, Australia’s leading social media and online community management company, to investigate the state of the professional online community management sector and its practitioners who build, manage and support online communities. The results delivered in spades.

It has revealed a highly educated work force under pressure, with four in 10 earning less than the national average despite long working hours that sees half working more than a five day week. But, beyond that, it also highlighted a number of issues needing resolution:

  • Approximately 40% of  survey respondents earned less than the national average.

  • 43% of respondents are working more than five days a week,. Almost one in 10 (30 of 262 respondents) work seven days a week, with three in four (77%) work more than an eight-hour day.

  • Despite the 24/7 nature of social media and online communities, less than one in five respondents said their organisation provided around the clock monitoring. Eight in 10 (82%) said their organisation conducted moderation within business hours, with at least some out of hours.

  • While almost all organisations collected metrics around their communities, four in 10 respondents said only some of their communities had a defined purpose – and one-third of those that had a purpose had no formal strategy in place.

So, why does this matter to me? Why am I writing about it? Well, for starters, it shows that there is a lack of understanding in this field. Organisations are realising the need to hire community and social media professionals to help support their brands, but lack the knowledge to harness, utilise and support this highly educated and, to be perfectly frank, freaking awesome group of professionals. It’s just another case of something shiny and new being brought on board without a clear plan for optimising the workforce.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of the report for yourself, you can do so at the ACM website.

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All Quiet on the Western Front.

It’s been a while. I thought once my Honours dissertation was submitted I would have more time for blogging and getting back into my writing. Oh goodness me, how wrong was I?

Since my last post I have received my Honours marks (passed! Thank goodness!), spent a great festive season with my family and friends, signed up for and started a website development diploma (no rest for the wicked) and had a passing in the family. Oh. And moved across the country to Melbourne, Victoria!

Not bad for only a few weeks.

Melbourne Train Station

There are less than three weeks until the school year begins again. In that time, I have to find a place of my own to live (currently staying with friends), get all the necessary school gear for the Monkey, and start building a new life again. It’s not an insurmountable set of tasks, but it does leave me wondering if I have contracted an illness that forces me to tackle the Herculean workload sometimes. Oh well. This too shall come to pass.

I have also received an invitation to graduate, and have elected to attend my graduation ceremony. Of course, it would be in the middle of the week, and there’s no Melbourne venue that I can attend. So, it looks like I’ll be flying back over to Perth in February for a week of catch-ups, graduation ceremonies and reminding myself what my partner looks like. I think that is what is making this the hardest move I have made yet: the missing him. Still, it’s not forever, and we are maintaining as much daily contact and communications as possible. That’s making it a little easier to cope with.

Oh, if you would like to help me achieve my dream of walking across the stage for my graduation ceremony, I’ve set up a Pozible campaign. The cost of flights is a little prohibitive at the moment, so every little bit helps, even if it’s just a share. 🙂

The end of one road

For better or worse, my Honours thesis has been handed in.

I collected my certificate of Graduation for Bachelor of Arts (Internet Communications) from the Curtin University graduations office this afternoon.

BA (Internet Communications)

Not bad going for someone who signed up for her first university unit “just to see what it’s like” just over 3 years ago.

Not bad going for someone who thought she’d try this uni thing to see if she had what it took to get a magical piece of paper.

Not bad going for someone who didn’t finish Year 12 either of the times she started it.

Thesis

24 undergraduate units.

2 Honours units and one dissertation.

58 spiral bound pages.

 

And, I hope, one walk across a stage in February, a smile, a handshake, and a magical piece of paper with the word “Honours” on it.

So, this blogging thing.

Yes. I’ll admit it. I’ve been incredibly slack in making regular posts.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve been looking into productivity/blogging tools, which I thought I’d share with you all.

If you’ve used any of the following, of if you have other tools to share, I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Now, in no particular order, here come the links:

Grammarly
Pitching itself as the world’s best grammar checker, this website contains an automated proofreader and says it can act as “your personal grammar coach.” Apparently, it can catch up to 10 times more mistakes than normal error checkers. I am yet to really put it to the test, having only used it for little pieces, but it does seem to do a good job. I think I’ll give it a go at sections of my Honours project next.

Every month you get a clean bowling-esque score card. If you write anything at all, you get 1 point. If you write 750 words or more, you get 2 points. If you write two, three or more days in a row, you get even more points. How I see it, points can motivate. It’s fun to try to stay on streaks and the points are a way to play around with that. You can also see how others are doing points-wise if you’re at all competitive that way.

Now, I haven’t used this one at all myself, but I thought it looked good, so I’m going to give it a go this coming month and I’ll get back to you with my findings.

HemingwayApp
Genius. Pure, unadulterated genius. This app has really given me a new zest for editing my work, which was something I have always loathed. If, like me, you really dislike editing or reviewing your written pieces, then this will make the chore colourful and easy! Each colour equates to a different focus of editing, meaning you can write clearly and concisely without breaking into a sweat! All of the love for this one. Give it a go and let me know if you love it too.

Kittens?Written?Kitten!
Have a deadline you’ve been ignoring for ages? Got an assignment you just want to forget exists? How’s that report going? Still not started? Allow me to introduce “Written? Kitten!” No spoilers for this one. You just have to go and use it. Let’s just say, I love this one even more than the HemingwayApp, despite it not necessarily being anymore productive than watching YouTube cat videos…

Got a tip or tool for staying productive in the face of ennui and eternal word counts? Share it in the comments below!

 

Honours – The Calm Before the Storm.

Yesterday I managed to complete all my enrollment and admissions for Honours this year. It took me long enough to find out how. The instructions were like something out of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Buried under seventy bajillion clicks to get to the right website, I then had to jump through hoops aplenty to make sure that my submission for enrollment went to the right place. It’s all done now, so all I have to do is wait another month, attend the compulsory Orientation meeting (an hour and a half of what I expect will be unbridled excitement and uncontainable joy whilst sitting in the uni stadium) then classes every Thursday afternoon.

 

Honours RollHopefully, this time next year I will be the holder of a fancy piece of paper that says I know stuff… Fingers crossed it even has the words “First Class” on it. Even if it doesn’t, I will be proud of myself. I never thought I’d get a degree, let alone graduate with Honours.

 

Here’s to the calm before the Honours storm.

A New Year, A New Look.

spring cleaningYou might have noticed things have been changed a little. I’ve done some spring cleaning, made some appearance changes and I think it’s looking much improved.

After a few years of the same theme, and some feedback suggesting reading my blog was not so easy, it was time for an update.

So what other changes can you expect this year?

There will be more posts. I will be more focused on Internet-related issues, but will still included other posts relating to my life and other bits and pieces that come my way. I’m also hoping that you will find more reason to comment on my posts, as I love to hear what you have to say.

Hope you enjoy the “new & improved” NephthysNile blog!

Happy New Year 2014!

And bye bye to 2013. Here is a look at the year that was.

Happy New Year

January:
I held a friend’s hand while she got a tattoo she had been wanting for many years. a few weeks later I started on my own tattoo project, completing a wish that I had had for many years also. It brought me one step closer to how I believe I ought to look. I braved the back-to-school madness to shop for my child’s return to education for the year. Only missing out on a few items which had sold out, it was my most successful year yet. I also entered my third year of my undergraduate degree– the beginning of the home run, so to speak. Having injured my right knee in the previous month, I continued to hobble around, catching public transport to and from work and elsewhere, with the aid of crutches, painkillers and anti-inflammatories. I also broke a toe. My family (grandmother and my father) met the family of my partner (mother and father) with amusing results. I also started as the Employee Engagement Officer for my office at Medibank, bringing (hopefully) joy and mirth to an otherwise dry and dull office.

February:
I continued work on my tattoo project: three hours at a time, every two weeks. Definitely a labour of love. My degree also continued. February, it would have seemed, was the months of continuation.

March:
I began my internship with Living Smart, work which still matters a lot to me to this day. I got new glasses, which in itself might not seem much, but as I had not worn glasses for some years, it was big to me. Thank you to Kate, Jenny and the whole family at Living Smart for letting me be part of your fabulous project.

April:
I continued working on the website for Living Smart, bringing the group’s presence online into greater clarity and letting it act as a better representation of the great work this group does. I went to Oz ComicCon and met Alan Tudyk, and had my dinosaurs signed by the man. It was in stark contrast to the rest of the months, which saw me begin the fight against changes to the admissions for the degree I am studying at Curtin University. A strong web, email and social media campaign thwarted efforts to make on campus enrollments obsolete, potentially leading the only dedicated Internet Studies department in Australia to its demise.

May:
I attended some events later in the month which allowed me to indulge in the darker part of my personality, with some very gratifying results (no spoilers here). My child turned 11, making me realise that it is probably too late to really be considering another child, as the age gap would be vast. I also began working on a research project which was to try my already strained patience.

June:
I continued to see the doctor regarding the damage done to my knee back in December of the previous year. Six months later and the repair was going slowly, but as expected.

July:
In writing the proposal for my research project, I realised that the paywalls of of research institutions and publishers is the single most defining obstacle to my metastudy. Much banging of my metahead against a metawall ensues. Attending the ANZCA Early Research pre-conference fires my imagination and passion for research, but returning to my study only drops me deeper into a paywall-facilitated rage. I quit my job to focus on my study, hoping to get a job with more steady hours. This dis not happen straight away. I attended the last Profs and Pints event of the year, put on by Scitech, this time as a member of the panel. We discuss the pros and cons of censorship. On the panel with me were expert in their fields. As an undergrad, I felt more than a little out of my depth however, I believe I managed with moderate success.

August:
The AICP (Association of Internet Communications Professionals) became a thing! It was a month of interview after interview after interview, jut hoping for something that wasn’t taking advantage of me, but was also rewarding. I started to become disillusioned with how my job hunting was going. I also attended Can’t Stop The Serenity, the worldwide fundraising event for Equality Now. The Perth Browncoats managed to raise US$8,500 (the highest donation of any CSTS city this year!) toward the worldwide total of US$110,783.53.

September:
The interviews continued, as did the rejection letters and phone calls. I escaped from it all by flying to Sydney to attend the annual swarm conference, after running their blog for the lead up to the event. This is also volunteer work that I do, but it fills my heart to see such a great event for community managers and those working in social media taking off and getting bigger and better every year. Thank you so much to Venessa and Alison for allowing me to be part of their event. I applied for, interviewed for and was offered a position working with two graduates of the very same degree I am! The wedding that had been planned and prepared for in three months was cancelled, propelling me into one of the darkest times to date.

October:
The exam schedule for my one and only exam this year was published. It was with a shaking hand and a raised heart beat that I booked my spot in the exam that would herald the completion of phase one of my undergraduate degree. I began my position with Real Estate Tribe and my learning streak on life in the fast lane of real estate and online tools. One of my best friends came over and stayed with me during what was going to be a very trying time. Thank you Rachael for making it seem all the easier.

November:
I celebrated my 32nd birthday. Many friends were with me and fun was had by all. I was taken out, as part of my birthday celebrations, to see the Joss Whedon rendition of Much Ado About Nothing, which was nothing short of wonderful. November also saw me celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who with my family. It was great to see so many people getting into a once-forgotten and laughed at television program that is so dear to my heart(s). I also sat for my final exam in sociology. I felt incredibly nervous going in to the exam room, and coming out of it, but while I was sitting in front of my paper I felt very confident. I guess it just shows that if you cover the same material often enough, it will finally stick.

December:
Which brings us to the last month of the year. I attended the Living Smart Christmas party and was thanked for my work. I applauded as my friend graduated (well done Rachael!), albeit from across the other side of the country.

In summary, I did a lot of stuff this year. Some of it time-consuming. Some of it heartbreaking. Some of it mind-numbing. All of it has brought me to the place where I stand now, ready to take on 2014 and whatever it brings. To everyone who has been reading my blog, and to those I have traveled through this year with – Thank you and may your 2014 bring you challenges and triumphs!