Interview with superuser guru Sean O'Driscoll

Valued Contributor

Today’s post features a seven-minute interview with Sean O'Driscoll, CEO of Ant's Eye View and former general manager of Microsoft's global MVP (superusers) program. I shot it with my Flip Mino at AT&T Park May 14 following the first full day of our annual customer conference in San Francisco.

In the interview, Sean talks about finding, recruiting and retaining superusers – which he calls “the secret sauce that ultimately determines whether your community efforts succeed or fail.”  He also touches upon common mistakes in superuser program management, along with suggestions on successfully aligning business goals with this group of passionate contributors.


If  you have questions for Sean, please post them below and I'll make sure he sees them. Sean’s face is in shadow for first three minutes (sorry Sean!) but I got a better angle for the remaining four.  Robot Very Happy




PERFECT - I have a better face for radio anyway:)  Thanks Tom, I really enjoyed the Lithium conference this week and LOVE talking the talk about superusers.


Take care,


New Commentator

Awesome interview, Sean- you have a great presence when being interviewed, even those three minutes when you were in the dark 😉


Glad you touched on how super users are there to help other community users, not to (even though they inadvertently do) help the company. Most often there is a push from the company to get numbers, get numbers, get numbers. And although showing how metrics have "improved" by increasing the super user count may seem like a good idea, it is not the healthiest idea for a community. The more solid, interesting, engaging content--the more participation. It's an upward spiral, a positive snowball effect.


Another point that I loved Sean, was your mention of misaligning engagement. It seems like this is so very easy to do. It's good to have active participants, but you want appropriate, correctly aligned participation. It is definitely easy to steer a new community in the wrong direction by bringing in subject matter experts with the wrong objective.


Thanks for the interview Tom and Sean, I enjoyed watching very much.


Tawnee -- @TawneeKendall


Thanks Tawnee - really appreciate the comment - now to find and follow you on Twitter!!



Valued Contributor

Many thanks, Tawnee -- and Sean! I was using a Flip Mino to shoot that and apparently it doesn’t adjust to differences in lighting very well.  But I think having his face in shawdow adds an element of “mystery” to the interview.  Like those interviews on the old-fashioned news programs.   😉

Valued Contributor

I'd like to watch this video but it's not available. Anyone know where I can view it?