Meet Evan Hamilton, Community Team Manager for internet icon Reddit.
Evan been building community professionally for over 12 years at companies like Coursera, UserVoice, and CMX. He has built conferences and meetups, superuser programs, support communities, moderator networks, and more. At Reddit he looks after programs that support over 330 million monthly users and drive engagement in over 138K active communities.
At Swarm this year Evan is lifting the veil on what it takes to manage a community at enormous scale, and what that means for elevating our community careers.
What’s unique about working on community at Reddit?
Reddit’s userbase is larger than the population of the United States, so we have to balance building at scale with remembering the humans we’re building for. That’s one of the reasons we have a company value to “Remember the Human”. It’s helped me to think about community programs in a much more strategic way – figuring out what can bring the most benefit to the most people with the smallest effort, rather than doing everything by hand.
What’s your favourite community right now and why?
I love the support on r/daddit. I love being entertained and horrified by the pictures on r/ATBGE, and I’m fascinated by the EVE Online community.
What do you consider the most exciting thing about the community management space today?
I think we, as an industry, are finally learning to talk business (something I’ll touch on in my talk), which allows us to get so much more accomplished.
When we look ahead instead of just at what’s in front of us, and align community goals with business goals, we can grow major programs and get the acclaim we deserve.
And the biggest challenge?
Stepping away from the day-to-day. With community, there will always be a fire burning. It’s so, so easy to get pulled in by those fires.
I grew up in a mountain town in California, and fire is always a risk. The best way to deal with it is to clear the brush from around your house, so if a fire comes – because it always will – it can’t get to your house.
What if community professionals, instead of fighting all the fires, worked on clearing the brush and setting ourselves up for success? It’s so hard to do, but when we do it then we do great things
What are you reading/watching/listening to right now that all community professionals should read/watch/listen to?
Drive by Daniel Pink. It’s crucial for understanding why people contribute to communities.
The Freakonomics podcast is also excellent for understanding how we humans work.
And lastly, I’ve also been fascinated by the architecture of the Bjarke Ingels Group and recommend both of their books. The way they look at the world and creating win-win human spaces is very relevant to community.
Why should community peeps come to Swarm?
I’ve been dying to go for years and I’m personally excited to go because of the great mix of perspectives: academic, business, and cultural. Plus, I’m going to talk to you about how you get your community (and career) from where it is now to working with a community with a population larger than the USA.
Get to know more Swarm 2019 speakers: