Latest stories

Empathy is the Ultimate Superpower

I’m always grateful when someone takes the time to give me advice or constructive criticism as that’s where the real growth lies. A lot of the advice is stuff that is helpful and I end up following. On rare occasions, the advice, while well-meaning, ends up being wrong for us. In this post, I talk about a particular piece of advice I received early on in my career from a PR pro. I fully...

9 Lessons Learned From Speaking at Swarm Conf

We assume that being a great speaker is a talent that someone is born with. I couldn’t disagree more. Public speaking is a craft you can learn and get better at over time – just like marketing, writing or community building. I’m still to this day absolutely terrified of public speaking. I have a host of fears – some fairly rational and others plain irrational. Over the last couple of...

Getting real about feeling like an imposter

Does so and so really think I can do this?” What have I gotten myself into? “Omg- all of these people are going to find out I have no clue what I’m doing.” There isn’t a day that goes by where I haven’t had at least one or two of these passing thoughts.  I’ve started and stopped writing a version or two of this post more times than I can count. There’s a lot of reasons why I am nervous...

The Myth of Work-Life Balance and Why Chasing It is Making You Miserable

I have a tendency to think through and play around with big concepts. I can also be a rebel at times, as I like to turn common ideas that most people hold dear upside. The common belief I’ve been thinking more about lately is the nature of work and life. And, the single most played-out and written about concept – the elusive work/life balance. This idea that we all should strive for...

Studying philosophy made me a better community builder

To put it mildly, I used to avoid philosophy like it was the plague. In fact, the one and only time I willingly learned about philosophy until very recently was one class I took my senior year in college. The only reason why I took it at all was I needed one more general education credit to graduate on time. I was hoping it would be a “cupcake class” that I could you know skip a lot and still...

What a recent trip to Helsinki taught me about designing community spaces

Helsinki is a place that is surely fun to say, but I admittedly didn’t know much about before visiting. Normally, when I travel, I like to know something about the place or at least have a couple of friends there that I could lean on for some insider tips. This time I was flying blind. I literally knew almost nothing about Finland or let alone Helsinki. Aside from the fact, the sun sets...

6 Lessons Learned from My First-Time Speaking at a Large Conference

Public speaking is scary. Talking in front of large amount of people or being the center of attention isn’t necessarily my thing. I also admittedly talk fast and wasn’t blessed with the natural charisma of awesome public speakers that I look up to like Brene Brown, Gary Vaynerchuk and Scott Stratten. Yet, I’m not one to succumb to my fears often. When you give into your fears, you stay in your...

The Breakout App of SXSW 2016: Snapchat???

A photo posted by Jessica Malnik (@jmalnik) on Mar 12, 2016 at 6:26pm PST Before SXSW every year, all the tech media sites and A-list bloggers talk about what will be the breakout app or site. It started after Twitter debuted and stole the show at SXSW in 2007. Then, Foursquare did this in 2009. In 2012, all the talk was about Highlight. Highlight was essentially Foursquare on steroids and...

Managing and Scaling a Team of Volunteer Community Moderators

I was chatting with my friend and fellow community professional, Patrick O’Keefe, the other day. Patrick has been managing online niche communities since 2000. Most notably, KarateForums.com, and also is the founder of the Managing Communities blog and the Community Signal Podcast. Needless to say, when I have a question or want to get feedback on how to handle a specific type of community issue...

75+ Useful Tools For Community Managers and Content Marketers Under $100

There’s no shortage of tools out there for community managers and content marketers. With new tools being added everyday and even more existing ones being updated, it can be hard to keep track (let alone know) which one to use. I created a list by category of some of my favorite tools. All of these tools are priced under $100 per month. Many are even free or have a freemium version. Social...