sarah
dopp

community consultant, web project manager,
gender diversity resource, cute bald chick

Availability:

  • Happily employed as a full-time product manager.
    Off the market for the foreseeable future.

 

Hanging out at:

Consulting Work

I make online communities tick.

I've been building websites, blogs, and web community spaces since 1997. These days, I focus most on the strategies, structures, and management plans of online communities.

I'm the one you call when you're ready to...

  • Plan and build a new community site for your growing base of customers, audience members, or supporters.
  • Find ways to increase engagement and improve the user experience of your existing online community.
  • Set up new tools and workflows for supporting your community members.
  • Implement a shift in your community's culture.
  • Find and train employees, volunteers, or power users to help keep your community supported and healthy.
  • Oversee web development projects that will impact your online community's space and experience.

My background

I've been a self-employed web professional since 2004. I'm well-adjusted to the hats of Project Manager, Front-End Developer (HTML/CSS), Technical Writer, and Community Development Consultant.

My clients have included Riverbed, Wikia, BlogHer, Cisco, Chevron, Jiffy Lube, Hyperion, and Seton Pediatric Hospital, among others. I've worked in the branding industry as a consultant under Interbrand, Bedrock Brands, and Percepticon, and in the social media marketing industry as a consultant under Cerado. I've also done a lot of work as a solo consultant. My full list of past client projects is here.

Also, just to be clear...

  • While I do have a background in web development and am good at setting things up, I'm not a system programmer.  If you need a complex community site built or configured from scratch, I can work with the team that's building it, but that team isn't me.
  • I help structure existing community momentum -- I don't make eager fans appear out of nowhere. Building a community from scratch requires a mix of marketing and community management, and I'm only the second half of that equation.
  • I'm a tech professional in Silicon Valley. Hiring me as a consultant is a bit like budgeting for a new employee... just... minus the health insurance, taxes, and layoff drama.

I've love to hear about what you're working on. Thanks for being interested in what I do!

Reviews

People say nice things about me.
"Sarah Dopp isn't the type to rest on her laurels. She is out on the front lines of community building, getting her hands muddy. She's committed to the longevity and health of all her projects, and engenders such loyalty from her communities and volunteers that they follow her across the internet and into the real world.

"In the zombie apocalypse, Sarah would not only survive, but she would be one of the first to build a sustainable, thriving community on the ashes of the former world."
Julian Nelson
Volunteer
Genderfork.com
"Few people have the capability Sarah exhibits. She is versatile, sharp, dedicated, flexible, and highly capable. Her contributions to our web development efforts are exemplary. To put it simply, Sarah Dopp rocks!"
Wayne De Jager
Director of Web Strategy
Interbrand
"Sarah has the remarkable ability to distill a project down to its essence, even as that project changes, which they always do. Building and developing on that essence is where Sarah truly thrives, and I'd have been lost so many times without her magic moonshine."
Hugh Howie
Producer
hughhowie.com
"When I found myself panicking in the face an online community migration project, I turned to Sarah for guidance. She came to the rescue, helping me untangle my thoughts, assess my budget, and manage my priorities. With her guidance, I gained crucially important perspectives on my project -- ultimately, shifting my strategy in a way that saved me thousands of dollars. A truly gifted consultant, Sarah never once told me what to do: she supported me as I came to my own decisions."
Ariel Meadow Stallings
Founder, Community Manager
Offbeat Bride
"Man, would you be lucky to get a Sarah Dopp. She's who I always call first when I want to make some sort of new internetly thing happen. I've always gotten what I needed - sometimes advice, sometimes help, sometimes slightly pursed lips and an almost imperceptible shake of the head. Turning to Sarah has never turned out to be a poor decision for me. I'd bet a lot you'll feel the same."
S. Bear Bergman
Author and Performer
S. Bear Bergman
"Sarah is a responsive and creative manager who's actually interested in getting things working right for all parties involved, not just pleasing one party at the expense of another. Her foundation of practical experience in web development is an indispensable resource for brainstorming, time and task management. She's one of those miraculous people that can make a stressful situation bearable, and a boring situation amusing. "
Kelly Buchanan
User Interface Developer
"Rarely are people this gifted in technical troubleshooting, editing, and understanding the nuances of communicating with target audiences. Of all consultants I have hired and collaborated with in my career, Sarah Dopp is by far the most thorough, efficient and pleasant to work with. My organization can either pay me for 10 hours of frustrating work to troubleshoot something, or I can call Sarah, who will solve my technical problems within minutes with humor and incredible expertise. All her suggestions are well considered and appropriate for the scope of whatever project is at hand. I have yet to get any advice less than brilliant."
Valerie Vass
Director of Community Engagement
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
"She not only does great work, but brings the kind of perspective, talent and humor that benefits every team. I hope to have the opportunity to work with her again."
Daniel Kamas
Director of Strategy
Interbrand Corporation
From his review on LinkedIn

Gender Diversity Work

I build resources and tell stories.

I believe that the gender identities, gender presentations, and gender roles in our culture are complicated, messy, fascinating, and beautiful.

I believe they are uniquely configured for each person, and that when we simplify them down to two options, we end up making perfectly healthy people feel like there must be something wrong with them.

By respectfully sharing our own unique experiences with gender, and by creating opportunities for others to do the same, I believe we work to break down the black and white thinking that is causing this harm.

Here's what I do to help:

In 2007, I created Genderfork.com as a photo blog depicting different forms of androgyny. Since then, it has grown into a thriving community expression project -- representing a wide variety of gender variance and nonconformity -- and is managed by a 15-person volunteer staff. It's been most successful as a welcoming "coming out" space that shares the simple message, "However you are is wonderful."

In 2012, I launched Genderplayful.com, a clothing marketplace that celebrates diversity in gender presentation and body types. It aims to organize resources in the gender-variant community to collaboratively (for each individual) solve the problem, "How can we dress in ways that feel amazing, with clothes that actually fit our bodies?" The project kicked off with a community fundraiser, and is still in the early stages of community growth.

I volunteered for the Gender Spectrum Family Conference for three years (2010 - 2012). This is a weekend conference for parents and educators of gender nonconforming kids and teens, which also includes programs for the kids and teens themselves (and their siblings). I assisted with their "Kids Camp" for children ages 4-9.

I also speak on the subjects of gender & sexuality, telling my own stories and sharing what I've learned from my community work. Past venue bookings include Brown, Oberlin, Appalachian State University, San Francisco State University, and Allegheny College, as well as churches, open mics, and storytelling events. If you'd like me to invite me to speak, please get in touch.

Links

I'm particularly fond of some things.

Timeline

I've been known to get around.
Note: These are just the highlights. For a complete list of speaking engagements, published writing, and web development clients, check out The List.
Sept: Joined Riverbed via Projectline for Community & Support Project Management.
August: Launched Sex & Jets, a collaborative blog that educates on sex positive culture and creative travel planning.
August: Launched Genderplayful, a community-supported clothing marketplace that celebrates diversity in gender and body types, after a year and a half of volunteer development.
July: Joined SuperBetter, where I managed their Community & Support for six months.
2012
Feb: Spoke at Appalachian State University on "Beauty in Ambiguity: Gender, Community and the Internet." (Boone, NC)
Feb: Gave two talks at Brown University: "Labels Don't Explain Me — How to talk about gender and sexuality with the ones who don't understand" and "Beauty in Ambiguity: Gender, Community and the Internet." (Providence, RI)
Feb: Joined Wikia as a Community Support Manager, where I worked for a year and a half.
Jan: Started performing at Bawdy Storytelling (where I continue to perform regularly).
2011
Dec: Held a Kickstarter-like community fundraiser for the idea of Genderplayful, raising $8,000 in 30 days (the goal was $5,000) from over 300 supporters.
Sept: Prose poem appeared in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman, as the end note (Seal Press).
Sept: Short story, "The Social Experiment" appeared in the anthology, Coming and Crying, Edited by Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O'Connell (Glass Houses Press).
Jun: Created Culture Conductor a blog about online community management tools and methodologies.
Jun: Produced and performed in a group reading of confessions from Genderfork.com, featured at the Queer Open Mic.
Mar: Spoke at Oberlin College, performing a variation on "Sex, Queers, and Finding Home," adapted for a trans and genderqueer audience.
2010
Aug: Co-coordinated "Kids Camp" (ages 4-9) for the Gender Spectrum Family Conference (and continued to do so for 2011 and 2012).
Apr: Spoke at Allegheny College on the grey areas of gender and sexuality. Talk was titled, "Sex, Queers, and Finding Home."
2009
Dec: Organized a social media discussion workshop series for the sex positive community called "Deviants Online" (San Francisco)
Oct: Organized the Geek Lab (all-day community tech assistance space) for the BlogHer Reach Out Tour (Boston and D.C.)
Sept: Short story, "Will You Go Out With Me?" appeared in Can I Sit With You, Too?, an anthology benefiting special needs children (Deadwood City Publishing).
July: Began co-hosting the San Francisco Queer Open Mic, a monthly performance series (and continued to do so until Nov 2011).
May: Took first place in the 2008 Artists Circle Reunion Poetry Slam (Durham, NH)
Mar: Interviewed by Dr. Karen Rayne of Adolescent Sexuality about my experience growing up queer (part 1, part 2).
2008
Nov: Joined Cerado for a two-year web project management contract (clients: Cisco, BlogHer, Professional Aviation Maintenance Association).
Oct: Created and launched Genderfork, a community expression blog about gender non-conformity, which attracts 20,000 readers a month and has a 15-person volunteer staff (still running).
Mar: Joined Percepticon and Bedrock Brands for an eight-month web project management contract (clients: Jiffy Lube, Chevron).
2007
Mar: Joined Interbrand Agency for a four-month web development contract (clients: Hyperion, Seton Pediatric Hospital, Locke Liddell & Sapp).
2006
Dec: Shaved head on a whim. Decided it was worth keeping.
Sept: Enrolled at San Francisco State University studying Technical & Professional Writing. Attended part-time, kept a 4.0 GPA, and eventually decided not to finish.
2005
June: Started to work as an indie website developer. Learned how to be a consultant.
May: Tried to move to Portland. Ended up in San Francisco. Best accident ever.
2004
Aug: Created and launched The Writ, an online literary journal and writers' workshop that attracted 5,000 people and ran until 2007.
May: Placed in the UNH Poetry Slam finals and joined the 2004 slam team.
Jan: Enrolled at University of New Hampshire studying Linguistics.
2003
June: Tried to move to China. Lasted 4 months.
2002
Sept: Enrolled at Bard College studying Mandarin Chinese. Lost college fund in the stock market (9/11). Started getting creative about life path.
May: Graduated high school. Got the hell out of dodge.
2001
Spring: Started building websites, blogging, and reading poems at microphones. Smartest hobby choices ever.
1997

Contact

Want to get in touch?

You can reach me at info at sarahdopp dot com.

I'm also on Twitter as @sarahdopp and I do pay attention to my @-replies.

If we know each other, I'll happily accept an invite on Facebook or LinkedIn.

But here's the deal: I'm an introvert with ADD, and my active clients come before everything. As a result, I don't always respond to personal emails very quickly. If it's time-sensitive, please follow up. Otherwise, I appreciate your patience with me. And thanks again for writing. I like you, too!