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Work experience

Feb 2000Present

Online Community & Social Media Director

TechSoup Global

Director, Online Community, Social Media and Partnerships, Caravan Studios, (an intrapreneurship & a division of TechSoup Global) 2013 - present

Director, Online Community and Social Media, TechSoup, 2007 - 2013

Direct TechSoup's online community efforts and all extending online social networks. Frequent speaker at industry conferences across the US, and consult outside organizations on online community strategy.

Founding Director, Nonprofit Commons in Second Life, TechSoup, 2007 to present

Founded and direct the TechSoup nonprofit community of practice in virtual worlds.

Online Community Manager, TechSoup, 2002 - 2007

Led social media strategy; launched TechSoup forums; established presence across multiple online properties and list-serves.

Content Developer, TechSoup, 2000 - 2002

Established the original online presence; wrote first 30 articles to launch site; created and wrote newsletter; developed and launched the online community.



San Francisco General Hospital

Barnett- Briggs Medical Library

·        Answered patrons' computer questions and solved technical problems

·        Assisted patrons with medical research, outline procedures, and bindery orders


Conversation Group Leader

UC Berkeley

·        Planned, assigned, edited, and wrote reviews, feature, and news articles.

·        Taught English to foreign students of various levels.

·        Confident in classroom presentation and team teaching

·        Independently coordinated and led groups on field excursions around San Francisco. Advised international students on complex personal and academic issues.

·        Consistently hired for ongoing tutoring after term end


Writing & Blogging
Writer of original presentations, articles, papers and blog posts.
Speaking & Presenting
Speaker, moderator and instructor for dozens of live and virtual industry events through-out the US.
Online Community Manager
Launched the TechSoup online community, directed and managed growth to more than 100,000 community members.
Social Media Maven
Fluent in third party twitter apps and have extensive experience in using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube and Flickr for various purposes, included live-blogging/live-tweeting events, collating a community by tagging, feeding in user generated content via widgets and basic community wrangling.
Second Life/Avatar
Direct and maintain a community in Second Life of hundreds of nonprofits.


Sep 1989May 1994


University of San Francisco

Completed a BA with honors at USF, majoring in Literature with an emphasis on Women's lit, minor was in Theater studies.

Academic Exchange Programs:

Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Oxford University, Keble College (1992-1993)

Cours De La Civilization Francaise, La Sorbonne (June 1994-December 1994)


Speaking: Presentations & Conferences


. Get Satisfaction Panel , Creating a Customer First Business, San Francisco

. Social Media Listening , NNEDV TechSummit,San Jose

. Creating a listening dashboard, CA TechFest, Sacramento, CA

. Social Media Listening Tools, Dev Summit, Oakland, CA



·Social Media Summit, Center for Nonprofit Success, San Francisco

· Hawaii Social Media Summit & Tech Expo 2012, Honolulu

· Social Media Today Webinar

· Cabrillo College Social Media for Artists, Bay Area

· Nonprofit Technology Conference 2012, San Francisco



·Columbia University Social Entrepreneurship Conference, New York

· CompassPoint Social Media Conversation in Community Twitter Best Practices, San Francisco

· Social Media for Nonprofits, San Francisco

· Marin Nonprofit Conference 2011, Bay Area

· Florida Housing Coalition Annual Conference, Orlando 

· Digital Workshop for Non-Profits, San Francisco

· Thrive Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo, Bay Area



· US State Department, Online Community Management, Washington DC

· Crossplatform Events that Rock National Nonprofit Technology Conference, Atlanta 

· Social Media for Social Impact, San Francisco



· UC Berkeley Human Rights On and Off the Internet: Social Networking, Berkeley

· LeadingUp, Online Facilitation

· Thrive Alliance San Jose Membership Mtg, San Jose

· Council of Public Relations Firms' Digital Marketing Workshop

· Cisco Live Virtual Conference Virtual World SIG

· NetWits Live, San Francisco

· Public Decisions· NTC09



· National Human Services Assembly

· Nonprofit Technology Conference, New Orleans

· US House of Representatives Hearing, Online Virtual Worlds, Washington DC

· SVForum – Virtual Worlds

· Games For Health, Baltimore

· MobileTech for Social Change: A Barcamp, New York

· Mobile Communities Unconference, Palo Alto

· Future of Learning in a Networked World

· Long Live the Platform



· SuperNova, San Francisco

· Games4Change, New York 

· SLCC, Chicago 

· BlogHerSL Conference

· Online Community UnConference, Silicon Valley

· California Association of Nonprofits Conference

· Exploring Virtual Worlds for Social Work

· Faster Cures, New York



· Northern California Grantmakers Briefing, San Francisco

· SXSW Interactive, Austin

· SLCC, San Francisco



· Web 2.1: A BrainJam for the Rest of Us


About Susan

A sought-after industry speaker, writer and community expert, Susan Tenby has worked in online community management for 14 years and has been active in social media since 2006.

Organizer of San Francisco's biggest and longest-running Online Community meetup,, for local social media and community managers, Susan brings together industry leaders and dozens of community management professionals every month for a professional networking gathering. She has also co-organized the San Francisco Online Community Unconference in 2013.

As the original Online Community Manager at San Francisco-based TechSoup, Susan was responsible for launching the organization’s very active community and social media presence. In her current position as Director of Community and Partnerships for Caravan Studios, she uses her finely honed and unique community management skills and social media listening expertise to analyze social networks, to target and generate leads.

In her previous role of Online Community and Social Media at TechSoup, she directed the strategy and activities of the well-established online community and drove the organization’s social media strategy. Under her leadership, TechSoup’s online community has grown to more than 100,000 members. She was the founder of the annual Nonprofit Digital Storytelling campaign which became the leading campaign of the TechSoup Global Media team (community and editorial team)

Susan was honored to be invited to testify before the US Congress on Nonprofits and Virtual Worlds, and was called out by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show for her congressional testimony and her cheeky avatar name. She teaches community and social media best practices at industry conferences across the US and has been a recognized thought-leader in online communities, distributed teams, social media and virtual worlds for the past six years.

As an active community member, Susan leads a monthly online community and social media meetup for professional community and social media managers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently serves as social media strategist and advisor for many organizations including the all-female rock band, The Go-Go’s. She earned her BA in Literature from the University of San Francisco and her MA in Literature from San Francisco State University. She can be found on twitter as @suzboop.

“Susan single-handedly created a vibrant online community from scratch. I am still referencing her work as a model for building online community.”

“She is unrivaled in her knowledge of online community building, and she is extremely dedicated to her work and her team.“

“Susan is creative and flexible in her thinking and approach to her work, which is an asset in a large organization with shifting priorities. She has great ideas, energy, and enthusiasm, and she is a joy to work with!”

- Industry Associates & Colleagues

Community Management Experience

  • Community, Social Media and Partnership Director of Caravan Studios, primary lead generator and responsible for developing and growing the very distinct community that is the intersection between software developers and nonprofits
  • TechSoup Community Director responsible for the promotion, management and direction of community forums with an audience of 100,000 unique visitors a month
  • Co-organized the Online Community unconfernece, with an attendance of 300 people
  • Designed and implemented a social networking plan and detailed social media strategy for the extended professional communities that TechSoup serves
  • Launched a community of hundreds of nonprofit staff members and volunteers in Second Life hosting a wiki and blog at about nonprofit activities in games and virtual worlds. We tag NPSL (Nonprofits in Second Life) on sites such as, Technorati and Flickr with many weekly in-world meetings, webinars and events.  
  • Host for 4 Nonprofit sims in Second Life called The Nonprofit Commons  providing space for 100+ organizations to explore programming potential in 3D virtual worlds.
  • Testified before the US Congress about nonprofit work in virtual worlds April 2008
  • Currently writing a book on Using Online Communities for Social Benefit 
  • Hosting monthly online community meetups in San Francisco for online community managers in the SF Bay Area to exchange ideas and best practices
  • Frequently speaks at conferences including Games for Change on Virtual Activism, on Using Second Life an innovative marketing tool at Supernova and recently, at BlogHer, TagTech, NTC and at the California Association of Nonprofits