A Digital Perspective: Richard Millington, Community Builder, FeverBee

Richard Millington, community builder and author of the online community blog FeverBee.  Richard’s down to earth, practical and effective advice is a great resource for online community managers as well as the digital world.

He reminds us that this is a conversation.  That this is a real place. People have desires, conversations and trust. What we do with that, is only up to us.

What I do:
I’m a community builder. This means I help businesses get their customers, employees or other relevant people to talk to each other and develop a sense of community. My biggest client right now is BAE Systems, a huge Fortune 500 business in the process of opening up for the first time ever. It’s a huge challenge and a brilliant experience.

Most of my work is in the micro. I talk to people individually, I launch activities, I encourage interactions, I introduce people to each other. There is a real art to developing connections between strangers, and I enjoy learning more about it every day.

Best Digital Memory of 2008:
I have two. First, was having the opportunity to work with my hero Seth Godin. Seth’s my biggest business inspiration and it was a real pleasure to be able to work with him for 3 months. Second, was the Obama campaign. I had the joy of being in Times Square on election night. The spirit that Obama ignited, and that sense of community between us all, was incredible.

Best lesson the industry could learn?
The internet isn’t a place we go to, it’s a process so we go through. The fundamentals are the same. The internet makes communication easier. That should, and does, empower us to do many great things. The problem is too many people get caught up in the technology at the expense of the people. I wrote a manifesto on this.

What’s emerging for 2009?
Common sense. People are going to realize that you don’t need to spend $50k on a fancy community site, when quite often the tools are available for free. People are going to realize that it makes more sense to spend that money on people and a budget, to develop the community to get the goals you want. Less focus on membership numbers and more focus on level of positive activity.

What will be big in 2013?
I don’t know.

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Mark Pollard at 12:56 pm

    Definitely like the micro approach. Communities are formed through lots of individual, micro interactions but a big, collective action/interaction every now and then works wonders too. Enjoyed the read. Let’s hope common sense continues to take the ascendancy!