#CMGRHangout presents: How Purpose Will Power Future Online Communities (Preview)

May 26, 2016 — by Sherrie Rohde0



#CMGRHangout presents: How Purpose Will Power Future Online Communities (Preview)

May 26, 2016 — by Sherrie Rohde0

As community professionals, we often see those in our industry ask how to get their community more engaged. You might disagree, but every time I see this question my first inclination is to step back and think about why that community is there in the first place. Communities don’t just exist because we want them to, they exist for a reason, for a purpose. Each member of your community identified with a need that can be met by participating your community—it’s up to you to know what that need is, or to figure it out.

Recently, Bill Johnston wrote an article titled Purpose Will Power Future Online Communities where he explains his model of Purpose & Online Communities and how we need to look not only at the community’s purpose as part of strategic development, but also the role of purpose for community members.

Join us for this week’s #CMGRHangout panel on Friday, May 27th at 2pm ET/11am PT to look at how purpose will power future online communities.

Jonathan Brewer and Sherrie Rohde will be hosting the hangout with Bill Johnston, Jenn Lebowitz and Patrick O’Keefe on panel. Christin Kardos and Carrie Keenan will be moderating the Twitter chat using #CMGRHangout.


Bill JohnstonBill Johnston
Founder & Principal at Structure3C 

Bill Johnston is Founder of Structure3c, a strategic consulting firm using the power of the crowd & collaborative technologies to transform the way we work and create. Prior to founding Structure3C, Bill successfully led community efforts at TechRepublic, Autodesk and Dell. Bill has developed and hosted a number of pioneering conferences, including the Online Community Unconference and also conducted the first Online Community ROI and Online Community Compensation research while at Forum One. Bill founded the Online Community Roundtable in 2006, the first community for community managers and strategists. One might think Bill is really tired of discussing online communities… and one would be wrong. Bill makes awesome crepes, and might whip some up for you if you are nice to him.

Connect with Bill on Twitter at @billjohnston or on Google+.

Jenn LebowitzJenn Lebowitz
Senior Director, Community Development at Health Union

Jenn is Director of Community Development at Health Union. Prior to joining Health Union, Jenn spent 7 years in Higher Education leading programs for diverse communities, including student-athletes and peer tutors, at St. John’s University and Hofstra University respectively. Recently, Jenn founded a grassroots, award-winning community organization in Long Beach, New York to address a growing opioid and mental health epidemic in her local community. Jenn holds an M.A. and B.A. in English from St. John’s University in Queens, New York. Some of her great joys in life include community management, Dunkin’ decaf coffee, hip hop, and hashtagging everything.

Connect with Jenn on Twitter at @JennLebowitz  or on Google+.

Patrick O'KeefePatrick O’Keefe
Founder and Owner at iFroggy Network

Patrick O’Keefe is an online community veteran with more than 16 years of management experience. He is the author of Managing Online Forums and the host ofCommunity Signal, a podcast for online community professionals. Patrick writes about community management at

Connect with Patrick on Twitter at @patrickokeefe, Facebook, LinkedIn or on Google+.

Discussion Questions

  1. Without getting too lost, how can we define purpose?
  2. What is the difference between community engagement and manipulation?
  3. How can we identify purpose for community members?
  4. How can we create community experiences that are less static?
  5. How can we help community members achieve their purpose within communities?
  6. What happens when a participant no longer feels they need the community?
  7. How can companies work together with communities to refine their purpose as an organization?

RSVP & Watch the Hangout

Want to RSVP for the Hangout? Visit #CMGRHangout presents: How Purpose Will Power Future Online Communities and let us know you’re going to watch. This will add the event to your calendar and remind you to attend! If you want to be on air, please let us know in advance by commenting on the event page. Let’s discuss ways you can attend:

  • Watch: You do NOT need to join the hangout. Just stay on the Google+ Event and you’ll see the video on YouTube. (Don’t worry, it will be there and start playing as soon as the broadcast begins.)
  • Talk and Be Seen: If you decide you want to talk, not just watch, please let us know in advance. (We will only invite a few people for this event, so let us know why you would like to attend.)
  • Chat: You can chat here and/or follow the conversation on Twitter using #CMGRHangout.

Any questions? Just let us know in advance. Please don’t wait until 2pm EDT to ask questions.

If you join us on the hangout, a wired internet connection is preferred and if you have a headset with mic or earbuds, that works best for the audio. You will also need a working webcam.

Not sure what time this is for your location? Use

Sherrie Rohde

Community Manager at Magento
As the Community Manager for Magento, Sherrie connects people with resources and with each other, and, since she’s just a bit passionate about the topic, she also co-produces a monthly broadcast for community professionals called #CMGRHangout. An ENFP, Sherrie is obsessed with innovation, terrified of status quo, and motivated by adventure. Reach out on Twitter at @sherrierohde. 