Wanted: Community Leaders to Help Manage My Blog

The volume of my blog comments has increased dramatically in the past year. I am so grateful for the robust community that has developed here. People often tell me that they find the comments as helpful as the posts. I agree.

A Crowd of People Interacting - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Photomorphic, Image #17146139

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Photomorphic

As a result, I read every comment and respond to as many as I can. However, this is currently taking me about ten hours a week.

I have come to the conclusion that I just can’t continue. As they say in the business world, “it doesn’t scale.” At the rate my traffic is growing, I will be spending twenty hours a week on comments nine months from now.

I need to find another solution, so that I can focus on what I do best: write and speak. In 2012, I intend to produce four audio programs and write a new book. I can’t do that with my current workload.

What Should I Do?

As I have thought about this over the last few weeks, I see three alternatives:

  1. Disable commenting. The problem with this is that it reduces my blog to a broadcast medium—a monologue. Instead, I want to encourage conversation. The content in the comments provides a rich source of additional content.
  2. Stop moderating comments. The problem with this is that the conversation can quickly degenerate into ugly rants and personal attacks. It’s like what happens when someone abandons a building. It soon falls prey to vandalism and graffiti.
  3. Recruit additional moderators. This seems like the most viable alternative. However, I have been stuck thinking I needed to hire someone. I felt like I would lose something in the process.

So what to do?

Why Not Get Out of the Way?

Last week, I was having lunch with my manager, Brian Scheer, and a new friend, Andy Traub. We were brainstorming about some of the audio programs we wanted to create next year.

I became really excited but quickly realized that I would have a difficult time pulling it off unless I could find the margin in my schedule to do so. I then explained the dilemma with my blog comments and how much time they were requiring.

Andy said, “You need to get out of your community’s way and let them do it. By thinking that you need to do it yourself, you are keeping other people from jumping in and helping.”

As soon as he said it, I knew he was right.

So here’s what I am going to do. I want to recruit five Community Leaders to oversee my blog comments. These leaders will take responsibility for answering my reader’s questions, making sure that conversations are civil, and flagging the comments that I need to address personally.

Please note: This does not mean that I will be inactive in the comments. I won’t disappear entirely. It just means that I will be much less involved than I was before. This will free me up to focus on creating the best content I can produce—for you. I think it will also result in even more conversation in the comments.

Would you be interested in becoming a Community Leader here at MichaelHyatt.com?

What’s in It for You?

While this is not a paid position, there are four benefits in becoming a Community Leader:

  1. Contribution. You will be helping real people with real problems. You may be doing this here already, but this will make it official.
  2. Recognition. I will create a new Community page with a photo and brief bio on each of the Community Leaders. I will also post a new set of Community Guidelines.
  3. Freebies. I will send you a free copy of every new product I create this next year. In addition, I will give you free admission to my public speaking engagements (subject to availability).
  4. Access. You will have access to my private email address. I will also follow you on Twitter, so that we can DM one another there.

Who Qualifies?

Community Leaders should meet the following four requirements:

  1. You need to have a servant’s heart. I really believe in giving back to the community. I want to serve my readers by providing appropriate resources and adding value to their lives.
  2. You need to be familiar with my content. You don’t have to remember every post. But you need to be familiar with my basic philosophy and approach to life and leadership.
  3. You need to be willing to invest the time. Scanning and responding to comments will take 30–45 minutes of your time daily. Some days it will take more; some less. I expect you to reply personally to 10–12 comments a day.
  4. You need to be able to resolve conflict. You can’t be ruffled by the occasional snarky comment. You have to rise above the heat of the battle and respond in a thoughtful way without over-reacting.

What Do You Need to Do Next?

If you are interested in applying to become a Community Leader, please send an email to my assistant, Tricia. Tell her in 100 words or less why you want to do this and why you qualify. We want to make our selection before the end of the week, so we can have our new system in place by the first of the year.

Question: What do you think about this idea of using Community Leaders? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    I think this is an intriguing idea that requires a huge step of faith.  I think you’re probably coming at it from the correct angle – we can’t do everything!

    I would love to be part of this, but I know that I have to create margin in my own life.

    I’ll be excited to see how this plays out for your blog and for your other endeavors.

    Please keep us posted!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The recurring theme for me this year  is focus. I find myself periodically having to step away from things I can do to focus on what only I can do. It has been a huge lesson in faith!

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        I am doing the same thing…

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    Change is one constant of life–I hope you find your Community Leaders. I would love to help you out, but like I said yesterday, I’m juggling too many plates as is. I’ve been considering the changes I need to make in the new year; so far, I know I am going to work on developing skills as a speaker (thanks to your post on the SCORRE method) by starting with the dvds and book from Ken Davis. Now that I know where I’m beginning, I’m eager to see where God leads me in the year 2012.

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Michael, I think this idea is great as far as helping you with your time and commitments. But my doubt is, will it become too much professional and reduce the real Michael Hyatt touch? However, I am with you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Joe. I hope the community becomes even more robust and valuable. Time will tell. 

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Joe, my suggestion to Michael was so that he could continue to be the professional he is and have his community grow at the same time. I believe the measure of every great leader is what happens in their absence and I believe we (I count myself as a member of his community) will become more engaged because we won’t be waiting for Michael to answer all of our questions. Instead we’ll engage with each other which will work beautifully because there are thousands of people like YOU that are great resources.

      • http://twitter.com/leannegolan Leanne Golan

        Sound wisdom, Andy!

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Yeps!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I agree.  There are so many conversations that take place here already without much direct input from Michael.  It’s that community aspect that I love.

      • Soulsimpleone

        Henri Nouwen coined the term “ministry of absence” which prepares people to sense not only the presence of God, but also the absence. As a parent, it is easy to become too dependent upon other people’s dependency.  A ministry of absence in parenting occurs when I leave my children so that we both know that 1) we will be okay apart and 2) we will be together again in a different way with new experiences to share with one another. 

        I see this new chapter as a way for you and your community to have that similar “absence” that will yield new and exciting things to share with one another! 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks for sharing that. I love the concept. That puts it in a whole new light.

        • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

          That’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. Nouwen had so much wisdom.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I don’t think it will become professional as long as everything is going the way it is now…and even better!

      The one thing that I could only see happening is less comments because the author is not responding as often. But that factor will not sway the people who really want to leave a comment. As long as there is engagement, people will comment.

  • http://www.revivallifestyle.com Daniel Vogler

    This is a huge, but obviously necessary step for you to take, Michael. Thanks for being so transparent about this process. I have to admit that a lot of my (at least initial) active engagement in your Blog has been strongly motivated by the amazing approachability you’ve always proven. It sort of creates a culture of honor in which the readers feels like his opinion truly matters. Although this might’ve been the case with many commenters here, I do think great high-quality comments will keep rolling in even with less engagement form your side.  
    I’d love to have this problem on my blog, so feel free to send comment-addicts over to my site haha
    Thanks for all the countless hours you’ve spent replying to our comments!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’re welcome, Daniel. And if I have any extra commenters, I’ll send them over! Thanks.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I’m with you! I would love to publish a post like this! haha

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    There’s no software app that could do the job?

    • Lola J. Lee Beno

      No . . . this requires a human touch. There are certain subtleties in human conversation that software apps can’t quite capture. Like the tone. One post on its own may come across as being sarcastic, but observing several posts covering a period of time with a sarcastic, hectoring tone may mark that poster as being a possible troll that will need to be dealt with by the community leader.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        There’s troll recognition software (TRS) for that.

  • Trina Gaptooth

    This is a great idea!  I am struggling with the time committment as well with my company’s social media.  You have some great followers, and I’m sure you’ll pick people that will be an asset to your community.

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Trina, do you think your brand would have some loyal tribe members/customers who would like to represent your brand in a moderator position in return for some swag/goodies from your company? 

  • Jennifer Hudson Taylor

    Michael, I like this new approach you’re taking. I’ve been following your progress for a couple of years and it is amazing how you’ve grown your blog and your platform, but I think it is like you said–more than just about platform, but giving back to the community. Wish I had the time, but I’m like others, trying to find ways to scale back in my own life. I hope this new approach works well for you! Blessings,

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Jennifer, I’m grateful that you see this as a move to create more community engagement.  It will be awesome to see us (I see myself as a member of this community since I”ve been reading Mike’s blog for a few years as well) step up and help each other.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        definitely!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Right.  I would love to see where this takes us.

  • Lola J. Lee Beno

    Good luck finding community leaders!  I think you should add to the list – that they have relevant experience  managing similar online forums for a certain period of time. It’s definitely not a job for the thin-skinned. It just takes one bad moderator to spoil the apple cart. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I will keep that in mind.

      • http://twitter.com/ChapinChick Elizabeth Chapin

        I agree here – I was very active in social media and interacting on blogs until I took a part-time job managing social media, but not everyone would respond to the “have to” aspect of the commitment the way I did. The fact you are looking for volunteer community leaders may mitigate some of that, but also looking for someone with a good track record would be helpful. This opportunity would be attractive to someone wanting to build their own platform, so you could find some very motivated individuals and the relationship could be mutually beneficial in more ways than you can imagine – which seems to fit with your leadership ethos.

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    Wow, thanks for making a commitment to maintaining the best online community and rearranging your game plan to do so.  The easy thing to do would be to disable commenting or not moderate them, but that’s not what you’re about.  I appreciate your desire for authentic interaction through your blog and your willingness to make it happen.

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Ben, sounds like you’re going to be a part of that “authentic interaction”. I appreciate that you can see this move as a way for more interaction, not less.

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        Thanks, Andy.  I look forward to being a part of the authentic interaction no matter the capacity.

        • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

          I look forward to being a part of that interaction as well. Can’t you see the comments section exploding with caring and capable people helping each other!? I am looking forward to visiting here to help others and ask for help. Do you think you’ll be more engaged because of this new arrangement?

          • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

            For sure!  You said it, the value of helping others and being able to ask for help is HUGE. 

            Let’s just say I don’t see a dip or plateau in my engagement level :)

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            It’s exciting!

  • http://www.shopmychurch.com Jason Stambaugh

    Love it.

  • http://www.currentfinances.com Don Current

    I just gotta chime in here and say that I’m a card carrying member of the Andy Traub fan club! He totally rocks! I’ve learned a ton from him regarding business and technology. I know he’ll continue to give you more of the kind of insight that has lead you to this decision so that you can take your awesome content to the next level!

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Thanks Don. If we’re gonna have a fan club I should start collecting dues! Appreciate you brother. It’s been an awesome privilege to work with Mike and his team.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Andy is awesome. I am loving getting to know him.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I’m going to check out his site! Many people on my site ask me about these things, but I am not experienced. I would love to recommend them to check out his site for info!

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Awesome progress Michael – well done on creating the growth – this is exciting.

    Interestingly – I suspect this is also a time of transition – it cannot remain the same as it was, and still grow..

    Totally agreeing with and supporting your chosen way forward – community, a sense of shared ownership, delegating responsibility – all great stuff that encourages growth.

    I think you’re right in wanting to find people who are united in a common purpose, whilst bringing individual value.. 

    Looking forward to seeing your site become even more valuable and effective,

    all the best,
    Paul.

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    100 words or less.  That’s gnashing teeth! ;)

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      :)

  • http://www.dogwalkblog.com/ Rufus Dogg

    I like the idea and almost hit that email link to raise my paw for this. But then I thought, “What the hell are you doing? Right now, you manage two personal blogs, four brand blogs.. you have one almost finished manuscript and four book proposals you need to get out of your head.. you need to find an agent who gets your voice.” 

    To make you successful, I would be contributing to my own failure…. *sigh* It sounded like such a cool project, too. I hope you find someone. I think what you will find, though, is a lot like what is happening in almost every other industry. The people who are really good at what you need are already way too busy. Try hiring a PHP developer who isn’t just a point and click robot. Or a writer who doesn’t give you a blank stare when you say AP Style. Or someone who can shoot and edit video. It seems the folks with the most passion have the least amount of craft. The ones with the most amount of craft have the least amount of time. The spare time they have is being used for THEIR success.

    I’ll be watching this project. I need the same kind of thing for myself. I think I will end up paying out real salaries though…. if I can find the willing talent.

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Rufus, I think the reason Mike can solicit moderators instead of hire staff is because we the community know each other and Mike’s content better than any staff member could. This move is a test of the tribe’s loyalty. What happens when the leader steps away? We’ll find out. 

      One point of difference though, I do think this move is about Mike’s success but it’s more about the community’s success. His platform is about practical advice on technology, family and business leadership. We’ve got a LOT more collective wisdom as a community than he does and I see that collective wisdom coming out now that Mike isn’t going to be responsible for responding to every question and idea.
      I agree that good talent is hard to hire. Great talent finds a way to make themselves available to the right client, create products that increase their influence and they build a team that allows them to spread their talent to more people. 

      Peace out Dogg

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I agree, Andy, about a LOT more collective wisdom here. That’s what convinced me. I am hoping this unleashes it!

        • http://www.dogwalkblog.com/ Rufus Dogg

          I hope you are both right, but I’m a born-again believer in the Church of the Human Condition of the Seven Deadly Sins. Time will tell. 

          Nice “leash” joke Michael… almost got away with it too…

          • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

            Is Leash your middle name?

          • http://www.dogwalkblog.com/ Rufus Dogg

            Of course not. It’s Herman :-)

  • Chad Woolf

    Once again you are leading by example! The simple solution would be to get some extra add revenue, hire someone and not even tell your readers. By being transparent and engaging us in this way you show that you’re blog is a reflection of who you are, not just a mega phone to promote your agenda.

  • @JustinWise

    Totally in.

  • Prajakta

    I read your blog for the first time (one of my friends told me about you ) and found it very easy going/reading as compared to others that I have read in past.
    Talking specific, Thanks for this blog post and welcoming the ideas. Yeah,  its really very difficult and more time consuming to spend countless hours  replying to comments..I think “Disable commenting” or “Stop moderating comments” is not a good idea instead you can give a try to “Recruit additional moderators”…one thing you can do – you can go through all the comments but don’t reply to all instead go for only IMP (in your manner)..
    Good luck finding community leaders!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    As a regular contributor to your online community, I would enjoy being a part of  your community team. The main thing that I see being a problem would be the time commitment. Since your posts go live at 4am where I live, I would have about 48 minutes a day to respond to comments before having to go to work. Since your comments get responses throughout the day of the post, it would be good to have your community members be responsible for different time periods, at least through the morning hours, so you have an active, vibrant voice.

    I think it would also be good to have your community members leave their own comments as well as respond to others. That way they will develop their own voices which will add to the conversation. This would be an ideal position for bloggers, writers, or speakers as a way to expand their own platforms. I’ll send you my application.

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      John, those are great suggestions. I think those things will work themselves out as this idea becomes reality. I’m assuming moderators will continue to comment outside of their role as moderators.

      You brought up a unique concern, that people would use their status as moderator to push their own services. It will be important to keep an eye out on that. Good luck with your application.

      • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

        I agree that the timezone issue addressed by John above is important and his suggestion is brilliant.

        But when the moderators post their own comments and reply to others then really that is not new to this blog at all – in that case John already is a moderator!

        Having moderators filter which comment are worthy of your time, Michael, as suggested by Barry just feels wrong.

        Your posts are your opinions and teachings. Why would I want to chat with others about your words when technology allows us to have direct contact. Personally I’d rather have you post less frequent but engage to the same amount than having than focusing on more content production.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        I’ve noticed that a lot of popular blogs now have multiple voices instead of just one. Copyblogger and Lifehacker are good examples. I think this really adds to the community. An additional question will be if Michael will still bring in guest posters, and if so, will have his community leaders post from time to time. Obviously the focus will need to be this community and the rules and guidelines will need to address that.

        On a side note, one of the top personal development bloggers, Steve Pavlina, shut off comments years ago and went to a community forum for conversations with moderators. While that adds better threading of comments, the current iteration of Disqus works very well. 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I still plan to use guest posters. The CLs will be free, of course, to submit guest posts any time they want. Because they will have the pulse of the community, I think their posts would be especially relevant.
          I did consider going to a forum, but it seemed too disconnected from the content itself. And, as you point out, Disqus does a great job with threaded comments. (Now if they would just fix their very broken Analytics module!)

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Guest posters really help this site! And forums seem too much to be disconnected from the site. I personally am against forums. It just doesn’t seem as engaging. I would rather disqus because I can come here 1x per day and leave a few comments…then I can engage by responding via email.

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      Great points, John.  I also see value in moderating comments from previous posts, not just the ones from the current day.  That’s another aspect for the role.

      I hope you apply, I appreciate your voice here.

      • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

        That is actually a great idea! Keep the current post to yourself and let the others be moderated… Thanks, Ben!

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Thanks, Ben. This will be a good question, via the time commitment, since comments come in all day and night and for days or weeks at a time.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        That’s one point I forgot to mention. About half the comments I get daily are from older posts, so the workload is about twice what appears on the current post.

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          If you are a moderator, will there be a way to see what comments are coming in?

          I mean, a moderator wouldn’t have to go through a few previous posts will they?

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            No. You could either review new comments via the Disqus dashboard or, better yet, receive all new comments via email. That’s what I do. In fact, that’s how I am responding now.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Ok. Awesome! I like the idea of receiving comments via email better. I am going to do that from now…

            _____

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. These are great suggestions. I definitely want the community leaders to leave their own comments as well.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I think that you would be a great fit!

  • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

    Michael,
    I like the direction you are heading, and I would agree that you should stay away from an all or nothing solution. If people think that you are not reading and engaging in your posts, at all, your community will suffer. I think you have a pretty savvy community and they understand that you can only commit to so much, so if you give an hour a day to respond to particularly relevant comments then that’s a win. perhaps your community managers can flag for you anything that might need your attention. 

    Also, like you mentioned, many people are leaving comments for the other members of your community, who have encouraged me on many occasions,  as well as for you. So, turning off comments is a non starter—in my humble opinion!

    Good stuff. thanks Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that’s what I am planning—to have the CLs flag anything that requires my review or comment.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      True

      • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

        thanks, Brandon!

  • Anonymous

    Michael, 

    While I am a relatively new reader your blog has been very influential to me as a coach/team/leadership consultant. Your willingness to share and actively participate is amazing. 

    Time is our most valuable resource, having community members moderate is great way to leverage your time. The right Community Leaders will share your values. We know your values from your posts.

    Prayerfully considering the commitment,

    ~Eric 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for considering, Eric.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Andy’s one smart dude. Glad you’re taking his advice to keep this going, but in a way that doesn’t take as much of your time.

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Thanks Justin. I appreciate that. As a fan of Mike’s work I sincerely believe he will be creating a tremendous amount of NEW content in 2012 because of this change. Imagine getting 25% more Hyatt.  That’s essentially what this move allows him to do. You and I both know (as managers of our own brands) that creating space to think and create results in exponential growth. 

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        You were a huge inspiration, Andy. Thank YOU!

  • http://twitter.com/jackmastere Erin Jackman

    I think it is a great idea. It makes me think of Jethro’s advice to Moses in Exodus 18 to have trustworthy men help him to be judge so he won’t grow weary.  I trust you will be led to choose the right person for the job and that God will take it from there so you can continue to do his work without getting overwhelmed and strung out.  Good for you to recognize this need.  

  • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

    Michael, I totally understand your motivation and respect it. In for position I’d try to outsource as much of the other tasks but keep the community to myself.  Don’t get me wrong – this is not a complaint – but personally I fear that even while the quality will stay as exceptional as it is now your platform will loose quite a bit.

    How about you keep managing the comments yourself but apply the “Tim Ferris Email rules” to your commenting. Give clear guidelines on how often a day and on at what times you’ll comment and to how many comments you’ll reply on average.

    That way you could limit the time you spend commenting down to a few minutes each day while still personally staying in touch with your community. I know I’d appreciate it.

    I’d only work with moderators for an online forum where I’d assign a moderator to each topic etc.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I still plan to comment. I just don’t want my readers waiting on me or the full burden on me. Thanks for your input and support!

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      You bring up some great points, Philipp. A forum moderator usually just guides the conversation back to the subject at hand, without bringing in much of their own opinion. That is quite a bit different from being an actual voice, where you share your opinions and guide the conversation. Hmmm… I’m not sure how Michael can accomplish this without giving up some control. I’m not a big fan of moderated content. It’s like trying to be a mind reader.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I’m really just looking for people to do what I have done. I want the CLs to insert their own opinions, help others with questions, point to additional resources, as well as delete inappropriate comments like spam.

        • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

          Sounds like a good way to go. One of the most interactive posts that I’ve seen lately was one over at Copyblogger.com, that included the founder, Brian Clark, and two of the regular contributors in a vibrant conversation on the ROI of social media. It was like being in on a college course on business, finances, and online media. I think what you are planning may bring this level of engagement here on a regular basis and that would elevate your blog to one of the best learning forums on the internet.

          Here is the post…http://www.copyblogger.com/social-media-marketing-roi/ 

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I agree. I read this the other day. It was excellent!

        • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

          Michael, your platform is an amazing resource and there is so much conversation going on already that I simply believe that you don’t need assigned moderators to keep the conversation going. There are so many amazing people on here on a daily basis providing their input to your site that this is doing the job already. As mentioned above – to simply flag spam etc. you can just hire a VA.

          I fear that having people comment because they feel they have to as it is their “job” as a moderator might feel strange. I’d rather have an occasional comment from you (with a statement that you can only comment at specific times) in addition to the other conversations going on here than having some people picked out of the crowd to moderate.

          Either way, I believe this platform will continue to be as great as it is. Thanks!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Thanks, Philipp. I agree that if all I needed was someone to flag spam I could hire a VA.
            I deliberately chose the name “Community Leader” rather than Moderator for that reason. I want people to help lead—and participate in—powerful conversations.
            We’ll see how it works. The great thing about experimenting is that you can change directions if it doesn’t work.

          • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

            Thanks, Michael. I’m looking forward to see how it works out, too. I’m hoping for the best and trusting that it will fine – actually more than fine – it will be great once the new system had its chance to settle.

      • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

        Thanks, John. I appreciate your reply. As mentioned in another comment I made – given the number and quality of your comments you are a moderator already…

        If deleting an flagging spam is the main task of the moderator I’d not call it a moderator. In this case you can simply outsource that task and find a VA to do that for you. But these people would not post comments to the forum as a “moderator job”.

  • Greg Arnold

    I’m very interested to see how this works. Thank you for being bold enough to hand the keys over to the community. 

  • Anonymous

    Michael, we’ll still be getting the best of you: your blog content. 

    Knowing you and your character, I don’t think you’ll be far away from your readers or their comments. Thanks to both you and Andy for letting us witness a bold and creative solution. 

  • Carol

    I love that you can see the limitations of your current situation.  I also love that you see the value of the relationships of this blog, and the comments- the relationship part of it.  It is one of the things that sets your blog apart.  
    If you consider other possibilities (and I’m not suggesting that this won’t work, I just know that volunteers need to prioritize other things as well in their life.) perhaps you might consider an intern.  I know the idea of supervising someone or overseeing someone sounds like another job, but with a little up front work, it might grow into something different and more over time.  Not a paid internship, but a free one (or very little pay)  
    I would say your blog/business is an example of social media done well, and there are lots of classes that would talk about social media in marketing.  There must be students who would benefit from the experience, and certainly your oversight of it. A few emails to people in your existing circle may unearth some possible people, and it would look great on a resume.  Just a thought.
    I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas Michael.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Carol. That may be something I consider if this doesn’t work. ;-)

  • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

    Great irony/proof if this becomes the post w/ the most comments from your community. @mhyatt:disqus 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That would be pretty funny.

  • Anonymous

    Praying the best for your Michael.  Love this idea.  I don’t comment much, but I’m a big reader here at michaelhyatt.com.  I’m excited to see you finding ways to produce greater content for us. 

    GO WIN,

    Heady

  • http://www.spiritualwellness.com/ Angie Schuller Wyatt

    This is a great opportunity to expand the community.  Be sure to select a diverse group of CL’s.  (The discussions sometimes read like a boys club.) Also, I’d be interested in a blog post about how you select and train these individuals.  Godspeed!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a good reminder. I’d be happy for more women to comment!

      I spent the weekend setting up a training page. I may post on that at some point. Thanks.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I know I have enjoyed commenting and creating relationships with others on the board and would hate to see the comment section disappear.

    That is why I think the idea of community leaders is terrific. Similar to a virtual assistant but for comments.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    I would like to be a moderator, but I’m afraid I will have to pass because of the time commitment. I am heading off to medical school soon, and I will not have the time.

    I think that is the right decision. Having moderators will really help…and it might even get more comments and readers.

  • Amy Hunt

    Love the idea! You’re connecting others with your strengths, and making purpose in theirs! 

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Like some others, I would really like to consider this, but time restraints might prevent me from applying.  I actually had an email composed and ready to go (at 103 words, needed a bit of editing…) But, there are days that I don’t touch my computer, and I catch up on this blog and others a day or two later.  My day off is like this.  I keep that prioritized for family and home stuff. 

    As intriguing and exciting as I see this opportunity, I may just have to hold off an it and pray about it a bit. 

    As far as what I think about the idea…. I love it.  I see this happening already, although probably not at the level you would wish.  I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I respect that, Jeff. Take your time.

      I agree that it is happening here already. This will just make it a little m,ore official.

    • Rob Sorbo

      Unfortunately I didn’t read that line closely enough! My 100 word e-mail was 242 words! Oops!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Lol!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    This is a great opportunity for this community to grow. There are those here who already help out one another but this will give 5 members the drive to do so even more. I believe that will encourage others in the community to step up as well. This can be a great place for challenge and encouragement, even more than it already has been.

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Brandon, REALLY well said. I appreciate your enthusiasm.

  • Betsytraub

    I’m a new fan and Andy’s mother :-)  .  Nice job Michael and nice photo. 

     My suggestion for recruitment is to find someone who is retired and has had background in leadership.  With the number of retired individuals multiplying daily you have a whole group of professionals who still want to use their leadership, marketing, education and life experience.   (and they can stay up late and write because they don’t have young children who need their attention first thing in the morning!) 

    As I read through the qualifications,  my first thought was my sister who is articulate, smart, objective and has great skill in writing. I don’t think she knew of this site until Andy mentioned it but believe me, if she likes it, she’ll read it and comment. Since I just was introduced to the site  I spent last evening perusing the blog and reading articles relevant to my current activities and others that just interested me.  Good content.

    Good luck in your venture.  Hopefully this gives you more time with those who support your efforts.   
    Betsy Traub    

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You did a fantastic job with Andy. I was so impressed when I met him last week. Wow.
      I think you make a great point about retired people. I think they would offer a huge advantage!

      • http://www.thenonconformistfamily.com Joshua Gordon

        Betsy, @andytraub:disqus IS awesome. I’m stoked to know the dude personally, and being involved with his life and business is something I’m very proud of. Exciting stuff, @mhyatt:disqus .

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Ummmm. Thanks mom. (kinda feel like I”m 12 right now but I know you’re coming from a place of genuine appreciation and support).

    • Rob Sorbo

      I think you have a point about the value of having a retiree do this. I do most of my MichaelHyatt.com reading on my work breaks, so I would have to avoid the temptation of letting this volunteer role get in the way of my job.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Great idea! I would love the opportunity, but not sure I can commit to investing the time to do so. 

    I know you’ll find just the right people and I’m looking very forward to your projects in 2012, hopefully adding the opportunity to hear you speak as well. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=73003476 Josue Sierra

    Hi Michael. Good idea. I look forward to seeing how your experiment goes. I do hope you’ll share a “lessons learned” post once your moderating team is set up.

  • http://twitter.com/pastorbrett pastorbrett

    Wow. Great idea. Great opportunity. I look forward to seeing how this plays out.

    I would only consider applying for this if it were on a rotation basis. After all, what you are asking for is volunteers. If people’s schedules are like mine, that’s a significant time commitment request for a volunteer. Having been a pastor for several years, I suggest you might consider a rotation system of Community Leaders. That way there is more variety of leaders and they won’t burn out. Of course, with a rotation system, the volunteers might not do the best job of staying abreast of the ongoing comments. There may also be other weaknesses with this idea as well. But I thought I’d throw it out there as a possibility.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great suggestion. Thanks!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    I think it’s a great idea, you are only one person and there is only so much time in the day. 
    People love your posts, if you spend more time commenting than on writing, the quality of your posts may decrease, also you need time with your family, friends and with God, asking for help is a wonderful idea!  

  • Anonymous

    This what several NFL football teams do with moderating their  message boards. Good idea.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    Great conversation on this post. I read this post daily because there is always value and take away. I make time for it. I’m game for anything that allows Michael to keep providing great material!

  • http://www.clintarcher.com Clint

    Tim Ferris would say just outsource it to your man in India!

    • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

      haha very true. That man rocks!

  • http://www.johnmichaeldemarco.com/ John Michael De Marco

    What an exciting opportunity to collaborate even more intentionally with like-minded professionals! Thanks, Michael.

  • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

    Lori, do you think you’d be more inclined to offer advice and/or encouragement if you knew Mike wasn’t as active in the commenting? The goal is a more engaged and empowered community while allowing Mike to create more great content. I’m curious how the change might change your behavior. Thanks.

  • Sara Rassler

    I have to admit, I don’t always contribute comments because I don’t necessarily have the time as a full-time, working student, but I appreciate your transparency here, Michael. I read every one of your posts and a couple dozen comments whenever I have time. I’m looking forward to how the conversation can expand. 

  • http://www.love-laugh-learn.com Deanna

    I think this is a great idea!!    Can’t wait to see how it all works out. 

  • http://www.SpencerMcDonald.net Spencer McDonald

    I understand your delimma of time. You have built a wonderful outlet for learning and connecting around leadership. I believe you are genuine.

    Now, to move away from your most important resource (those reading and commenting) might dilute the quality of this blog. Maybe and maybe not. I like coming and reading everyday and commenting on occassion. I enjoy the conversation and I do look to see if Michael Hyatt is engaged because that helps make the content really.

    I would love to help and in the end I need to look inward first. It is my goal to build my own platform and tribe of followers at my blog. I am very new at it and growing my blog will take time and dedication as you have put into your blog. So, I hope you find the right community leaders here at MichaelHyatt.com. Please remain connected as much as you can. I love reading and learning from YOU!!

    Thank you Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Spencer. I appreciate your kind words.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    I suspect this is a bittersweet post. One of the reasons your blog is growing with great success (in addition to great content), is the one-on-one with your readers. To step back from that, while a necessity, must be a tough decision.  

    What was it that you said about discomfort and growth?  I think this must qualify. Best wishes selecting talented candidates to help you as your blog continues to grow.  And congratulations on your continued success.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate that. It is definitely out of my comfort zone!

  • Rob Sorbo

    In the time that I’ve been following this blog, I’ve noticed that there are several people who have already been very active voices on the comment boards. I don’t think that this new direction is changing anything significantly (other than those active voices will just have a different title now).

    One thing I will miss (although I don’t think this is going away entirely) is when Michael responds to my comments. I know he responds to a lot of comments, but it feels special when someone you respect takes time to read what you have to say.

  • http://twitter.com/waterfallbooks Katie Hart

    A few years back, I would have applied. But considering that the focus of this blog has shifted from publishing-oriented topics to leadership, living, and Mac-focused tech talk, I rarely even glance at the comments anymore.

  • http://www.mn3d.net/ Jackie Brewton

    Michael,
    I’ve never commented on any of your blogs but just want to say THANK YOU for who you are and all that you do! I have learned quite a bit from reading your blog posts. Even this current post has given me direction on what I need to do personally. I am in a similar situation with my time limitations.

     I teach an abstinence curriculum in the public schools of ATL and am inundated with teenagers who want to keep in touch with me (they just need someone to listen). I know God wants me to write a book as well as create some other products that will allow my message to reach more youth. However, the amount of time I spend responding to the youth who do hear me has handicapped me from reaching more teens.  I’ve thought about having someone else respond to them but never trusted that they would give the appropriate counsel.   I LOVE your concept and think something like this could work for me.

    God bless you and I look forward to seeing/hearing about all of the things this new process will allow you to do next year.

    Jackie Brewton
    http://www.mn3d.net

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. I’m so glad to know that this stimulated your thinking!

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Jackie, I’d be honored if we could talk about how to set up a system for you and your site to free you up to do that writing and still keep your community cared for.

  • Guest

    Sent my e-mail to Tricia, wohoo! Great idea Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for doing that. She will be reviewing them and then making recommendations to me.

  • http://davidruess.com/ David Ruess

    Great idea Michael. Hope you find some great people!

  • http://all.pro Maranda

    Great idea Michael! I know from one day just how busy your comment sections stay.  :) I agree with the boys club comment – I would love to see some more women joining in the discussion here. Gotta even those things out you know. :) 

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      Maranda I agree.  Dang, another male commenter. Sorry.

  • Rob Sorbo

    I’ve been giving this more and more thought. One thing I’ve realized is that this is the type of thing I would get really excited about, and then run out of steam after a little while (and as busy as everyone is, I’m sure others might feel this way too).

    What if you did a 3-4 month rotation? If people do it once and enjoy it, you can keep their name on the list, but if they decide it was too much work they’d only have to do one rotation.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I may consider that for the future. Right now, however, I have about 70 applicants that are comfortable with it as is. Thanks for your consideration.

      • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

        sweet, I’m exited to read more about the “4 chosen ones” :)

  • Carissa

    This is a very practical idea and a great opportunity! If I knew I could commit long term to this, I would definitely apply. I do not comment much at this blog, but reading your posts has been a huge motivator in my life. Thank you for having the focus and drive to consistently put out quality content.

  • Texaspenelope

    Michael,
    Have you thought about adding a Blog Frog community?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I hadn’t heard of it before. I just visited their web page. Unfortunately, the link to the sample site is broken, so I couldn’t really check it out. I am very happy with Disqus.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I would love to be one among the five. But, my current travelling position make this proposition difficult for me to qualify. Being in remote places with poor connectivity also comlicates my position. Yet, looking forward to new community leaders.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Uma. I think we are good. We had 70 applicants and picked 10 yesterday.

  • http://www.holidayhomedeals.co.uk/ Nav Bajwa

    very nice blog, thanks for sharing such a wonderful information and your thoughts with every one! holiday homes uk

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  I just ended an internet sabbatical.  I can’t believe I missed a chance at this.  

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  • http://projectcommunityonline.com/ Change Management Process

    Thanks for a wonderful post! It has been a great change of pace for me as i am always on the lookout for a whole new perspective on different subjects. Keep up with your hard work and dedication.
     

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