The past few days, I've been working on a presentation for the Vircomm Summit, a gathering of the online community management industry, which will take place in London this Thursday.

Rather than showing a whole bunch of industry folk stuff they already know – strategies, models and case studies – I've decided to deliver what can best be described as a Potted History of Online Community Management.

In the presentation, I'll cover the:

  • pre-internet days of dial-up bulletin board systems (BBSs)
  • wild frontier of usenet and IRC
  • walled gardens of the mid-90's
  • early days – and challenges – for audience interactivity at the BBC
  •  launch of the BBC's web chat service
  • investing in community management training and roll out at the BBC
  • the first (??) multi-domain community management platform we developed at
  • what "twitter" looked like in 2001
  • BBCi chat studio at Bush House and the professionalisation of online community management at the Corporation
  • expansion by the BBC into building engagement on third party social networkign and content sharing services
  • the state of the industry today – grown up strategies, approaches, platforms and measurement frameworks
  • my thoughts on the source(s) of competition to the online community industry in the future

Although my narrative and most of the screenshots are in place, I've yet to tidy up the visual presentation – stay tuned, I'll post the slides as soon as I can after presenting them at Vircomm on Thursday.

Cybersoc by Robin Hamman
With over 13 years of professional experience in the digital and social media industry, and a client portfolio that includes some of the World's most recognisable brands and organisations, I've built a reputation internationally as a leading practitioner in the industry.

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About Robin Hamman

I've been helping some of the World's most widely recognised brands and organisations devise and implement strategic digital and social media programmes since 1999.

I'm currently the EMEA Digital Network Lead at Fleishman Hillard. I've previously held a variety of roles including Managing Director of Dachis Group Europe, Director of Digital at Edelman, Head of Social Media at Headshift, Acting Editor of the BBC Blogs and Executive Producer at ITV.

In addition to my day job, I help my wife run an online retail business selling wool blankets - if you're feeling chilly, check out

I hold a BA in Education, MA in Sociology, MPhil in Communication Studies and a PgDip in Law. I've also been a Non-Residential Fellow at Stanford University Law School and a Visiting Fellow of Journalism at City University, London.

Why In 1995, I tried to register, for the purposes of researching "ordinary users", the username Cybersociologist on AOL. They truncated my name and I stuck with it....

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