Well, CMX Summit is a wrap!
We had a blast on Thursday with over 350 of the community industry’s finest for a day full of inspiring talks, community building, partying and event some arts and crafts.
There was a c, we wanted to recap everything we learned right here in one post.
We had some amazing community volunteers help us live-blog each and every talk, and now we present to you the entire package of all the key takeaways from each talk at CMX Summit.
Jess Lee is the CEO and honorary co-founder of Polyvore, which is the second largest driver of social commerce on the Internet today. When she took on the challenge of growing the Polyvore community and business, she approached the challenge with a hacker’s sensibility. And while many of us are put off by the term “growth hacking,” she explained that growth hacking is actually about delighting your users in myriad ways: “The best growth hack is to cultivate delight for your users.” With that in mind, she shared with us 15 concrete “growth hacks” we can start using today to build stronger communities and grow our membership organically.
Betabrand’s CEO Chris Lindland talked to us about how we can leverage the power of community to flip our customers into our marketers. He talked about how empowering your customers to be their “most outlandish selves” can produce Internet gold. When people love and hate something, you’ve got something worth building.
Product Hunt started out with an idea, an email list, and a few dozen people. Since then, the platform has seen significant traffic and community growth. Ryan explained that the core of Product Hunt is the community – the evangelists, makers, and enthusiasts that take part in it each and every day. In his talk, he outlined the 3 stages of building community and 13 solid tactics he has used to grow the community and create a cult-like following.
Shira Levine started her talk with the proclamation that community is the future of the Internet. She delved into an actionable presentation that outlined the 80/20 rule (80% of engagement/revenue comes from 20% of your audience. She clarified that the web collapses the 80/20 rule: now 1% of customers drive 99% of business) and her very own Shiramyd of engagement. “Encourage people to level up” and more deeply engage in the community your building.
Marcus delivered a talk in which he frankly admitted that for the first few years of building Twitch, they didn’t know how to define their community strategy. It was just growing too fast, was too out of their control, and they didn’t want to create boundaries around it lest they inhibit its growth. Instead, they listened and they kept building tools and remained transparent. Marcus’ talk defines how they now organize the Twitch community and some of the programs they have put together to continue honoring what the community has done for them.
Erica Kuhl is working community magic with data at Salesforce. She’s showing us what metrics we can use to prove community success and she’s giving all of this information away so that we can all become better at our jobs and prove our value at our companies. Today, the community is adding 40,000 users every month, the company has added 199 new ideas from the community in each of the last three releases, and is opening the door for more growth for Salesforce as a whole. This has taken seven years to achieve, but the investment has certainly paid off.
Douglas Atkin has built massive community movement for Meetup. His talk included exactly how to create a community mission statement (and, he asserts, every community needs one), defined the Community Commitment Curve, and outlined exactly how Airbnb got a 90%+ engagement rate when they reached out to their community asking them to advocate on their behalf. This was a super actionable talk, and we’ve got the juiciest bits here for you.
Andrew Hyde built Startup Weekend in a weekend with a WordPress theme, a few friends, and some beers. Since, the company has expanded to 142 countries and he travels the world expanding to Startup Week. Andrewbrought up all kinds of provocative questions for community builders, such as “This is a pretty creepy thing to want to do though, isn’t it? To change total strangers’ lives? To say ‘I want to make a fundamental difference in the lives of people I’ve never met?” Read to find his four pillars of unbreakable communities and the three characteristics of successful community events.
Daria pulled back the curtain on NASA’s internal community for us, explaining how she has launched (excuse the pun) a massive global internal community. Daria’s key point was that even the most engaged communities – be they internal or external – need facilitators to keep them going and directed. She currently facilitates over 60 global communities with just 2 facilitators.
Jenn Sander, Director of Global Initiatives for Burning Man, joined us in the afternoon to discuss the 10 principles of Burning Man community culture. She talked about how Burning Man naturally evolved from a one-off idea to a community to a more structured city and how the community itself is carrying that mission forward.
“Community shapes how we see the world,” Amy Jo Kim said. “So seize the opportunity to build strong communities. Amy’s talk was all about how to build cooperative and collaborative communities rather than competitive ones. She argued that in all her work – building Guitar Hero, The Sims, and more – collaborative community spaces won out over competitive ones. In her talk, we learned 9 timeless community design strategies and 5 concrete ways to design our communities for collaboration.
Soon, we’ll also have all the videos from each and every talk from the Summit. Make sure you’re subscribed to get updates when those become available!
Then of course, we closed out the night with some cocktails while the sun set over the bay. It was magical.
Make sure to subscribe to the CMX Insiders list to hear about future events first. Until then!