Every now and then it’s important to take a good look at your community, see where you stand, remember where you’ve been and take a look at where you’re going. Today I wanted to take the time to do just that. Over the next month-ish we have a number of changes and additions happening to the SEOmoz Community that I wanted to let everyone know about. I also thought it would be fun to take a look at our community from a numbers perspective.
So let’s jump right in, take a look at the numbers, then meander through the upcoming community awesomeness. Who’s with me!? Onward folks…
First things first, let’s check out the SEOmoz Community in numbers (as of the time of publishing this post):
6,518 Active Community Members (any member who participated in comments, Q A or YOUmoz in the past 6 mo.)
7,600 PRO Members (the Active Member list above isn’t looking at tool/web app usage)
279,599 Total Members (PRO and non-PRO, active and inactive, plus free tool members)
13,321 comments in the past 6 months (you people write A LOT)
70 YOUmoz posts in the past 6 months
22 of those YOUmoz posts have been promoted to the main blog (nice work!)
26,924 Twitter Followers
7,325 Facebook Fans (or whatever they want us to call them these days)
83,971 RSS Feed Subscribers
Before I finish with the numbers, let’s look at a few more fun facts. We hit 2000 PRO members on March 13, 2008 and 6000 on August 24, 2010. In May of 2009 we had just over 4,000 Twitter followers, which means in 18 months we’ve increased our Twitter followers by 624% simply by engaging with people. [That’s a lot of percentages, yo.] I also found this fun post from 2008 asking the community what they wanted to see in our Twitter feed. What do you think, how are we doing?
Last month we kicked off our inaugural PRO Newsletter (thanks to Lauren!) and will be sending out a non-PRO one later this month. Each month you’ll get all sorts of SEO and mozzy goodness right into your inbox.
Most of the changes you’re going to see outlined below actually have one major theme in common, MORE MOZPOINTS!! [Ok I got that out of my system. Whew.] As you’ll read below, the new profiles, Q A and YOUmoz changes are all bringing you more ways to earn mozPoints. At the same time, since we’re giving you more ways to earn, we’re also making a bit harder and giving you some sweet rewards.
Perhaps you’ve noticed, or perhaps not, but our profiles have essentially looked the same for several years. It’s time to kick them into overdrive. Not only are the profiles getting a whole new look, with more ways to promote yourself or company, you’ll also earn mozPoints as you complete your profile.
This is really the doozy of the bunch. Over the last few months we’ve been working on a whole new system for PRO Q A. As our membership grows, it has become painfully clear that in order to keep up with the number of great questions coming in, we needed to rethink the system a bit. There will be a full post with all the details coming out soon.
The basis of the changes is to give PRO members the ability to:
- Ask more questions (we are often asked to increase this number)
- Receive responses faster
- Respond to other member’s questions
- Earn mozPoints by answering questions well
Yes, that’s right! We’re putting the ability to answer PRO questions into your hands. The SEOmoz staff and Associates will still be in there answering questions and moderating. Essentially our roles won’t change (at least not right away), but we’re giving our users the ability to gain points for answering questions. You’ll get more points for answering questions within the first 4 hours it was asked and if the answer is “SEOmoz approved” you’ll gain even more points.
I know, I know, you have questions about Q A [giggle] and we’re happy to answer your questions in the comments below. Remember though that in the coming weeks you’ll get a lot more info! Plus if you’re quite active in Q A right now, you may get an email in the next week asking you to be a beta tester. W00t!
Let’s take a quick peek at some screenshots:
Your new Q A Overview Page
This is the view when you go to ask a question
This is what an answered question will look like
Pretty slick eh?! You’ll get your questions answered quicker and gain mozPoints at the same time. Plus you’ll still be able to ask one private question per month which will be answered by the SEOmoz stafff or an Associate. hoorah!
Hopefully you’ve already noticed that YOUmoz is KICKIN’ so far this year. It’s mostly because the posts submitted are just phenomenal, but we’ve also raised our standards. Not that we had “low standards” previously, but it’s beneficial to everyone if the posts published there are of high quality.
In the near future when you go to submit at YOUmoz post, you’ll be asked to first read through the guidelines and accept that you’ve clearly read them. You’ll also see tips on creating a good post. Some of the items you’ll see on this page are:
- Have you added useful images/charts/screenshots? It is so important to format a post well (as well as possible in our WYSIWYG editor) and make sure that you include relevant screenshots, images, charts, any sort of visual that will add depth to your post.
- Don’t forget your Title! So many times posts are submitted with mediocre titles. There have been times where a post was almost skipped because it looked like spam.
- Does this post already exist on the web? If it does, please don’t submit it. We only take unique posts and it wastes everyone’s time to submit previously published posts. We do a search on every post before publishing.
- Check your spelling and grammar. I fix spelling and grammar in each and every post (even on the main blog), but having a post free of these issues will likely get your post published sooner.
Having these guidelines in place will also help me to explain to an author why a post wasn’t published. We read through every single post submitted, do a search for duplicates, plus check for spelling and grammar so it can take a while to get published. Before you submit a post, just be sure to read it through carefully and put the same time and energy into the post that you would on your own blog.
Keep up the great work YOUmoz authors. As I stated before, this has been an excellent year so far for posts and by the looks of the queue right now, it’s only getting better.
Whatever you do, don’t freak out! When we first started talking about changing the navigation, my biggest concern was how the community was going to react. Any time you make changes to what people are used to there is an uproar [hello Facebook Digg, I’m talking to you here]. So we wanted to give you a quick preview of what’s to come in the next month.
The main difference you’ll notice right away is that there will now be two versions of the navigation, PRO and non-PRO. When you log in as a PRO member your experience will be geared toward using the web app, tools and other PRO features.
The non-PRO and logged out version
The PRO navigation
Note: These aren’t the finalized versions. 🙂
Remember earlier when I talked about freaking out… yea you should have all seen me when we first started talking about having a Community section in the top nav. It was truly a combination of elation and mind-numbing fear. Picture this conversation that went on my head if you will:
I really wish I could tell you that conversation didn’t happen, but it did. 🙂 I’m super excited about the addition of a Community section and although the screenshot below doesn’t show all the goodies (such as the Mozzer Spotlight, Top Comments of the Week and Top Users for the Month), I think you too will start to get excited as well!
Ok, so now I’ve spilled the beans on some of the new Community changes happening over the next month, I’d love to get feedback on what you see here. Again, as each one of these launches we’ll have more detailed information about them. I wanted to give the community plenty of time to soak in all this cool stuff before we just threw it at you. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear from you!