Meet Jennie Sager, Australia’s first Country Manager for global neighbourhood community platform Nextdoor.
Jennie hails from an expansive career in digital media before she moved to a community management focus. She joins Nextdoor from Twitter where she headed up content partnerships across Asia Pacific, including Australia. Before Twitter, Jennie produced award-winning programs for NBC, ABC, CBS, MTV, Discovery, HGTV and Australia’s Nine Network. She’s also been a content producer for many of the world’s largest events, including the Super Bowl and the ARIAS.
Community has always been a passion for Jennie, and she’s consistently looked to it as an approach across her career. At Swarm this year she will share the journey of Nextdoor and insights she’s gleaned stewarding communities at scale across an entire country
What has surprised you about working with online communities?
Media loves to tell negative stories, we don’t hear enough of the positive ones.
When I joined a community-based company, I was floored by the kindness and willingness to lend a helping hand that exists online in Nextdoor communities.
People are paying it forward every single day!
What can all community professionals learn from the insights of a neighbourhood network?
People want to be connected in an environment that feels safe and familiar, like a neighbourhood. It’s not enough anymore to just ‘comment’ or ‘like’ a photo, people are hungry for a true, meaningful connection that translates into a real relationship offline.
What’s your favourite community right now and why?
All of the communities on Nextdoor are special in their different ways.
One that really inspires me right now is Alphington, Victoria – our biggest Nextdoor neighbourhood in Australia.
Our neighbourhood lead there, Joel, is incredibly passionate about growing his community and bringing people together.
He’s so dedicated that he designed his own Nextdoor posters and hung them all over his neighbourhood, changing their locations on his way to work everyday!
Joel is proof that if you dedicate time to your community consistently, it will grow.
What do you consider the most exciting thing about the community management space today?
I’m excited by how much it’s growing. Titles like “Community Manager” didn’t exist at top tier digital and media entities even five years ago in some cases.
Now people in these roles can spread their wings a lot farther than non-profits and small businesses.
What are you reading/watching/listening to right now that all community professionals should read/watch/listen to?
I’m currently reading Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam.
It’s about the decline of social capital and is also the book that sparked the idea for Nextdoor. All community professionals can learn something from it.
Why should community peeps come to Swarm?
Swarm is a great place to learn about new opportunities in the community management sector and to share ideas with people that face similar challenges in their roles.
And of course, there’s nothing like being around people who share your passion for community.
Don’t miss Jennie at Swarm 2019 this August, where she’ll share the journey of Nextdoor and lessons learnt building a community of communities at scale.
Get to know more awesome Swarm 2019 speakers: