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This second post in the Behind the Scenes Series features, laure.cetin a highly dedicated community and project manager. I loved having the opportunity to interview and in turn share Laure’s candid responses with the community! Especially since Laure is usually the interviewer in her wonderful Member of the Month series. Please learn more as we go behind the scenes with Laure.

Image #1 - Laure and her beautiful son.

You've lived in 4 countries and multiple cities, how has that influenced you? It opens up a lot of horizons, you meet a lot of people with various backgrounds. Of course, it is interesting to see the cultural differences and the first year or two is all about learning and adjusting, but once you settle in you find out if you can stay or not. Right now I'm feeling great in California, I couldn't go back to France to work there! Now that I have a son here in the US I wonder how he will grow up, and I hope he won't feel torn between two cultures. I also wonder how American he will be when he grows up LOL.

Please share a bit about your title, group? I work in the SCN Collaboration Team, we are a group whose responsibility it is to nurture the community spirit, help members connect with each other and encourage them to contribute quality content. My focus is member reputation, and yes it includes the SCN point system :wink:

What do your daily responsibilities entail? I am the go-to person when it comes to the point system, its design and any questions that the community may have. I am unfortunately the person that moderators reach out to when action needs to be taken, and usually it's when it becomes ugly with the points! But in general on a daily basis I respond to feedback about points and other reputation mechanisms, and often the community responds for me, which I always find awesome. These past few months my job has been less "its usual self": I am working to implement a gamification platform very soon on SCN and the missions and badges that will be introduced will hopefully steer people away from points a little bit, and have them focus instead on what they need to do to be successful on SCN. And beyond that I would like to find new ways this year to have members shine on SCN, and also outside the community.

Image #2 Laure would say ‘Handling the point cheaters is nothing compared to getting lunch at work!’ while I would say ‘I will never eat outside in the Palo Alto offices again!

Could you share some of the background work you did to prepare for the gamification project? Gamification is a very interesting topic, because beyond encouraging behaviors with rewards it's about knowing your community and touching all the various personalities you can have in a community. I took the time to list most of these personalities and get to know them better by talking with my team and with community members. Since I've been in the team for three years now I have received a lot of feedback and I remember most of it. If you want to design a robust system that encourages quality you have to design missions carefully and that's what's been most interesting. And challenging: It can become complex very quickly and as usual you don't have all the tools you'd like to do everything you want. One thing that surprised me is how I managed to take different roles as the project manager and as the community member. Sometimes I had to take decisions that were the right ones for the project, but I know my community manager self would have decided differently. That was difficult. The opposite also happened: I think of the benefits to the community in all the things I do for the project.

Favorite SCN space or feature and why? I like the Moderators and Space Editors space (it's restricted access), because I learn a lot there by reading about what our moderators do every day. I love the Coffee Corner as well, I read some funny jokes many times, and I love how it helps us connect with each other in a more personal way. I am always surprised at how deep conversations can become there. Right now we've made the Coffee Corner read-only during a transition period between the old and new point system, just to discuss with the Moderators what is the best approach to take with the Coffee Corner, but once it's "back" I'll start a thread about jazz. I know a couple of jazz fans such as thorsten.franz, thomas.zloch2 and gail.moody-byrd-Byrd, but I'd like to know who else likes jazz music and what they listen to. Who knows what artist I may discover!

What would the community be surprised to learn about you? I don't know if I can answer that question, you should ask someone else who knows me! Maybe I can tell you that I love singing in the car, when I'm by myself of course! So if you see me in my car one day, I'm not on the phone… I'm just singing my heart out and rocking the car LOL.

Please help us grow from your personal experience; share one tip/resource/guide/experience that you recommend after finding it helpful from personal experience. It may sound common, but: Live life fully. It's not that it's short, it's long enough that we can live up to 80 or 90. It's just that it goes so fast! I know it sounds repetitive, but years slip by and everything goes so fast these days that you can lose the perspective of what really matters: family and friends. Don't take them for granted.

The next four questions are taken from the Actor Studio interview questions:

What is your favorite word:

In English: serendipity
In French: crepuscule (twilight)
In German: Bruchsal (a city, go figure!)

Least favorite word: Oppression

What sound do you love: My son's laughter!

What profession other than yours would you love to attempt: I'd like to have my own business one day, not in the high-tech industry... Once I'm ready to start it you will hear about it, it's not going to be any time soon though.

Laure wrote a fabulous Blog it Forward post and in it she shared a picture of her monoski and said there was a story behind it. I asked if she would be willing to share. I love my monoski. It is a wedding present from my brother, if you can believe it. It reminds me of our good times together when we were kids, skiing and trying all types of things: monoski, snowblades, big foot. We never tried snowboard because we thought snowboarders were so lame (sorry, no offense). Unfortunately he passed away last year and I miss him terribly. We had a lot of fun together and he never cared about material things or how they look like (He would go to a wedding wearing jeans! But for my wedding he wore curdory pants). He found the monoski hilarious because of the 80s design, we cracked up when he gave it to me.
From the MOM series we all know you're a strong MAC fan, when did this love affair start and what is your favorite feature? Oh boy… My husband is a Mac fan and he converted me :wink: We now only have Mac at home, and I adjusted to Mac naturally and enjoyed it. It took me a while to switch from Blackberry to iPhone though. I still hate typing on the iPhone, but it's such a great product overall! I told this story to steve.rumsby recently: I made a video of my son a few months ago and of course it was too big to send it to my family. Inside the email I was able to edit the video, shorten it and change the start time several times until it was OK and I was ready to send. It was such a smooth experience! I am often amazed how much they think through things when they develop them, the user experience is uplifting. I love the iPod as well, I have my whole music library on it: from lullabies to classical to jazz and world to hip-hop. Enough to keep me company on a trip across the US!

Laure is passionate about continuously enhancing our community. She is direct, dedicated and tireless. Sometimes I wonder if she sleeps enough… :wink: Read what the SCN team shared about her:

• “It’s rare to find someone who can get things done with decisiveness, action and diplomacy. Laure is one of those rare people who combines the ability to produce results AND do it gracefully.”
• “Laure Cetin is professional, poised, and proactive.  In her role as the manager for SCN’s Reputation program, she exhibited her passion for the Community by firmly pushing for required features and functions from our software provider. She provided short term and long term plans for the both the BunchBall implementation, and led her team tirelessly through the delivery of the gamification project. In addition, Laure kept her eye on the future, thinking beyond the software implementation to the longer term goals of the reputation program and how it would improve with the new software.  Laure is a thorough, organized and strong leader.
• “I have no idea how Laure managed to take care of the gamification project and her little boy at the same time, especially when I see her emails from both late at night AND early in the mornings. Yet she still comes up with a lot of energy every day and brings fun to the office. She is also very caring and encouraging as my supervisor, while giving me full credit and visibility. I’m very lucky in getting to working with her.”
• “Laure is a very dedicated and passionate Community Manager who is a pleasure to work with. Her strong commitment to the SCN community is something I really admire and strive to replicate.“
• “Laure campaigns tirelessly for improvements in the community, whether it be small tweaks to the existing recognition program on SCN or a large change like the impending launch of the new gamified recognition system. You can count on her to have the best interests of community members at heart in every decision she makes.

Follow Laure on twitter @LaureCetin

Please go ‘Behind the Scenes’ with additional SCN Team members.