Lithium Star Snapshots: Sherrie Rohde

Retired Community Manager

With LiNC ’16 kicking off, we have a lot in store, but I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce our new series: Lithum Star Snapshots! Our Lithium Stars are the top influencers and contributors in the Lithium community, and many of them are joining us at LiNC this year.


Lithium Star Snapshots will be a series of quick insights from our Stars, focused on topics near and dear to a community manager’s heart. We decided to kick off the program with Sherrie Rohde (@sherrie), a brand new Lithium Star. Sherrie is the community manager at Magento, and we sat down recently to discuss what it takes to launch a superuser program.


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 What led you to create this program?

I have been part of the Magento Community as long as it’s existed. As I’ve grown through it, walking in a variety of shoes and watching the community grow, one thing I noticed was that there was a lack of clarity in terms of who to involve and what. There was never a solid list of top contributors or influencers, and we didn’t have that resource to pull from.

I knew about the need but I didn’t know about the solution until I was in Community Manager Certification II last year. (Shoutout to @JoeC and @CharlotteK!) We put a formal framework around it, to help people understand why we’re rewarding and recognizing those that we are.


How did you design the program?

I took a lot of thought processes from Lithium’s Community Manager Certification II and other superuser programs. I created a scoring algorithm that looks at any quantifying areas where people are contributing to the community. We looked at what users did to move the community forward, like helping others offsite, writing blogs, helping others in forums, many ways in which they were involved.


How did you communicate about the program (internally and externally)?

Internally, we made sure that anyone who was a main stakeholder was involved. We talked to brand, design, etc. and we brought everyone in the same room to present the program. It was reassuring and great that I had so much internal support.


Externally, I worked with our brand and thought leadership teams. For both parties, you have a different audience you’re communicating to, but think “What’s in it for the community?” We worked with brand to make sure communications were clear and easy to understand. Being able to position it in a way where people were able to celebrate together was important to us.


What are 3 tips you have to launch a superuser program?

  • Think about the problem you have and how you can solve it. That helps with getting buy-in and communicating about the program later on.
  • Identify key stakeholders as early as you can
  • Think through any line items you might need—budget, approvals, etc.—so you don’t make promises you can’t carry out.


Around for LINC? Feel free to say hi to Sherrie! For those who are interested, we’ll be chatting Superuser Programs at the Unconference. See you there!